In the market for a gritty, bluesy collaboration from two well respected names in the music community? If the answer is yes, then the new collaboration album “Black Pudding” is exactly what you are seeking. Released on the Ipecac record label in the states and the Heavenly label in the UK, the collaboration features Duke Garwood, the London based multi-instrumentalist, who has already collaborated with artists like Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and the band The Orb and the American alt-rocker, Mark Lanegan. Lanegan, known for his years with the Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age and The Gutter Twins, also not one to shy away from collaboration, has previously worked with Belle & Sebastian’s Isobel Campbell and The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli.
Lanegan and Garwood met a few years ago while playing on the same bill and Garwood was again a frequent opener on Lanegan’s recent European tour. “Duke Garwood is one of my all time favorite artists,” said Lanegan. “Working with him has been one of the best experiences of my recording life.” The combination of the two on this album results in a soulful, gritty and bluesy album from start to finish that you might expect to hear in some darkly lit backwoods bar. Collectively, it’s a mellow album, something that you just sit and listen to and enjoy, there are no radio friendly tracks, no catchy hooks, just pure, raw musical talent.
The first track on the album is the title track, “Black Pudding”, a completely instrumental track that seems to showcase the album and set the listener up for what will proceed, raw, stripped down blues guitar. From there the album leads into the first single, “Pentecostal”, which starts with an intricate guitar riff, rich and melodic, nothing hiding the true sound of the instrument before Lanegan’s raspy soulful vocals kick in, giving the song a true resonance that strikes into the listener’s soul.
Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood’s “Pentecostal”
Other stand out tracks on the album include “Death Ride”, musically the track rests somewhere between the blues and maybe even a little bit gospel, sort of in the way that Johnny Cash could make gospel songs sound somewhere between joyous and tortured at the same time. The upbeat, “Mescalito”, brings together a rhythm and melody that grab the soul, plus the addition of Garwood’s backing vocals on the track blend with Lanegan’s to make a beautiful, haunting melody. On the eerie track, “Sphinx”, Lanegan’s vocals are distorted and almost give it a sort of Tom Waits sings the blues type feel to the song, back in the days before Tom’s voice wasn’t so gritty that is.
Bookending the album in instrumental tracks is an interesting choice, and one that really pays off in the simplicity of it. The final track, “Manchester Special”, brings the album full circle, to the beauty of Garwood’s solitary guitar work, which showcases what an amazing talent he is. The album is a testament to the talent that both men posses.
For more details on Mark Lanegan, check his website at http://marklanegan.com/ or his facebook at www.facebook.com/marklanegan and for updates on Duke Garwood, you can find those on his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/dukejgarwood or on Band Camp at www.dukegarwood.bandcamp.com. For details on the release check out the Ipecac Records Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ipecac.
Written by Christina Lawler
OurVinyl | Contributor