“Roll Away” by the UK based band Back Door Slam, is one of the best debut recordings I have heard and certainly the best debut recording I have ever heard from a band this young. While it seems that every day or so a new below the age of shaving guitar phenom comes along, rarely does an entire band of such tender years yet such remarkable talent step forward. Back Door Slam is an old fashioned, guitar driven, power trio very much in the spirit of the Cream fronted by yet another of these most impressive teenaged ax slingers, Davy Knowles. While the band does not in reality sound like the Cream, their very heavy, blues flavored musical base is unmistakably reminiscent of the Cream. Knowles is not only a very gifted guitarist,
he is also a much better than most in the genre vocalist and a very capable songwriter, making him a true triple threat. The remainder of the band is also excellent, with Adam Jones on bass and Russ Doyle on drums blending perfectly with Knowles into one of the more promising young bands I have ever heard. Jones and Doyle are both skillful as well as very tasteful players, again something not so commonly found in players of this age. If these chaps can deal with all the creative issues within any band and avoid the deadly demons of substances, ego, and poor management, Back Door Slam will have a most promising future, as their sound should appeal to blues/rock fans of all ages.

As I mentioned before, this is truly an outstanding debut recording. There are 11 high quality tracks, mostly power trio blues rock, 9 originals and 2 well chosen cover tunes. I think you will find Knowles vocals to be a real bonus throughout this set as his voice like his ax work sounds far more mature than one would expect. Tracks like “Stay” and “Too Good For Me” demonstrate that the band is able to blend both acoustic and powerhouse electric sounds into a thing of beauty, a not so easy task for some bands. The band’s ability to move from hard edged blues/rock to acoustic without sacrificing quality is just one of their many strengths. Songs like “It’ll All Come Around” and “Come Home” just purely rock. “Outside Woman Blues” reminds me a bit of the 70’s lineup of Savoy Brown, still one of the most underappreciated of the English blues/rockers. But, as I said before, it’s all good from start to finish.

This is a band whose progress I will personally be following with great interest. Needless to say, “Roll Away” comes with my “buy it even if you have to sell body parts to raise the money” seal of approval. Please visit the band online for merchandise and info and a copy of “Roll Away” at www.backdoorslam.com.

Tom Branson

The Band:
Davy Knowles: lead vocals, all guitars, mandolin, lap steel, backing vocals
Adam Jones: bass
Ross Doyle: drums

The Tunes:
1 Come Home
2 Heavy On My Mind
3 Outside Woman Blues
4 Gotta Leave
5 Stay
6 Too Late
7 Takes A Real Man
8 It’ll All Come Around
9 Too Good For Me
10 Roll Away
11 Real Man

Copyright 2007 Blix Street Records

© Bluesrockers 2007


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