Jules Boult’s album “I Have A Boogie to Play- Live” is a great experience. I love some of the more traditional tracks like “Down By The Riverside” and “I’ll Fly Away”. His renditions are very interesting. The brass solos, piano and the groovy-boogie atmosphere make the tracks drip with Ye Olde-American legitimacy. It makes them sound as if they should be played in an old saloon or a spaghetti western parlour before a crazy-hellfire standoff at dawn.
For me, each instrument is impressive and together they form a nice, familiar and warm sound. My favourite moments in tunes like “Down By The Riverside” are the solos where there is less emphasis on the vocals. This may just have been the equalising though, as the album was recorded live and this aids to the vibrant energy of the CD.
On the other hand, tracks that use the drum set less really bring out the sweet harmonies in the vocals, tracks like “Needed Time”. In this song, there’s more general percussion like tambourine and bells as well as ukulele and it just seems simple and effective. In its stripped back state, this traditional tune is wonderful, I really connect to it, I want to stick on a heavy muslin dress, curl my hair and dance around an old saloon. With such a variety of talent in this band, I think less is more. Again, “Mark My Words” is a song where the vocals, the lead and backing, are all sensational and atmospheric, but that’s because there’s little to haze their husky, rusty quality. Tracks like “I Held My Baby Tight” are wonderful in creating an energy and the piano adds just that spare bit extra. When controlled and moderated, this band knows to sell their sound with passion. I think I prefer the less complicated tracks and that’s just my preference. Being a live recording, you can hear the whooping and hooting of the audience in the background. That really adds to the whole experience.
Image source: http://www.julesboult.com/