Ever since he formed the British classic rock outfit Stray over forty years ago, guitarist / vocalist, and principal member Del Bromham, has had little time to pursue his own solo career. In 2004, approximately twenty five years after the Del Bromham Band, Del decided to record his first solo record, entitled Devil's Highway. While Stray's sound leans more towards straight-ahead, classic/ hard rock, Devil's Highway allowed him the chance to finally indulge in his love of traditional blues. The result was this stripped down, eleven track, acoustic / electric affair , that took him outside of the familiar sound of his 'other' band. Earlier this year Del was offered by Angel Air Records, the chance to re-release the album, so he promptly headed into the studio and recorded five extra tracks especially for this splendid reissue.
From the opening acoustic, swamp slide of the title track, it won't take the listener long to realize that Del is indeed the real deal. Comprised mostly of his own compositions, he also pays tribute to a few of his idols along the way as well, by turning in two versions of the Robert Johnson staple "Ramblin' On My Mind". For the first version he chose to play the slide on a resonator guitar in order to achieve a sound comparable to the original, whereas the second version is all acoustic. He also turns in another superb acoustic rendition of the blues standard "Careless Love", a rollicking, full band version of "That's Alright Mama", in addition to his take on another tried and true classic, "The Midnight Special". His sublime cover of "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever", a tribute to one of his favorite singers, Levi Stubbs from the Four Tops, is also worthy of mention. As for his own self -penned tracks, the highlights here include "Slave", "Whiskey, Wine And Beer", "Ain't Love A Wonderful Thing" and the stirring, delta boogie of "40 Acres And A Mule".
Well into his sixth decade in music, Del Bromham is still going strong and thankfully shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you want a real taste of what an authentic blues record should sound like in the 00's, then look no further than Devil's Highway. This was a superb release back in 2004, but now with the added bonus tracks, you can consider this reissue to be the definitive version.
1) Devil's Highway
2) The Well's Run Dry
3) Ain't Love A Wonderful Thing
5) Whiskey, Wine And Beer
6) Careless Love
8) That's Alright Mama
9) House Of Love
10) Devil's Highway (reprise)
11) What's Wrong With You?
12) The Midnight Special (Bonus Track)
13) Ramblin' On My Mind (Bonus Track)
14) Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Bonus Track)
15) 40 Acres And A Mule (Bonus Track)
16) Ramblin' On My Mind (Bonus Track)