Since 2008, the Scottish project known as Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters has entertained audiences with their traditional Blues sound, keeping alive one of the most fundamental music genres with a fresh and young twist.
Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters
Their newest LP Swashbucklin is a work where this trio has surpassed expectations, bringing some of their most solid and cohesive performances to date.
This triplet of performers from Edinburgh, Scotland, is comprised of Jed Potts (guitar/vocals), Jonny Christie (bass), and Charlie Wild (drums). Over the last 10+ years, they have mastered their craft, performing at many festivals and opening for acts such as Ian Siegal, Nimmo Brothers, and The Hoax, to name a few.
Their sound is a well-rounded homage to classic American Blues, standing out due to their flawless performances.
These young lads take a lot of pride in the recording process of their music, which differs a lot from the modern standards, as Jed himself explains:
“Most blues music these days, or even music in general, is recorded in a pretty sterile way. In other words, every instrument is recorded separately, with vocals and solos added on top. Our music was recorded almost entirely live (including vocals and solos) with everyone playing together. There’s a lot of mic spillage and roughness, which adds to the excitement.”
And is that rawness and peculiar way to develop their style what makes this nine-track album such an enjoyable experience being an absolute gem of this genre.
This record opens with the second official single and self-titled track Swashbucklin, which embodies what The Hillman Hunters are all about, sonically speaking. If there is a song that works perfectly at Introducing this band to new listeners, it would be this one. With its syncopated patterns, addictive riffs, and mind-blowing solos, this piece classifies as Blues excellence.
This formidable instrumentation and dexterity repeat itself in tracks like It Won’t Be Long and The Fastest Outlaw, displaying Jed’s jaw-dropping guitar shredding, as well as his creative songwriting, capable of depicting engaging stories through his music, complemented by a sublime rhythm section courtesy of Charlie and Jonny.
Splash-Down! Take us through a more refreshing route (get it? Splash? Refreshing? Ok, never mind…), functioning as a fun instrumental piece with a more dynamic pacing that almost feels like a proto surf rock melody, tailor-made for a sunny day at the beach.
Won’t Be No Use is perhaps one of the most versatile chapters on this auditive journey, taking a slightly different approach, having a slower tempo at the beginning, gradually increasing the speed as the song progresses, and ending in a calm and extremely satisfying way.
Swashbucklin is a fantastic throwback to the golden era of Blues, fun, captivating, and highly appealing thanks to its astonishing musicianship.
This album is a success in many aspects. Not only it’s a gratifying addition to the already brilliant discography of this band, but it also represents a new achievement in terms of composition, taking the skills of this outfit to new exciting grounds. This act has proved they know how to do Blues the right way.
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Words Javier Rodriguez