Books and covers…I never learn. Then again you have to hold the band responsible to some degree. If they offer up a cover of themselves dressed like a crazed Mariachi band from The Three Amigos, conclusions are going to be jumped to. Thankfully what lies within is miles away from the image conjured by the cover and Big Love is in fact a deft and sometimes delicate blues collection.
Kicking off with the title track itself, this opening salvo sets the scene perfectly, growling, grooving rhythm and blues, the perfect combination of the slick and the raw-edged, of modernity and tradition. From there they explore any number of blues byways and rocking side roads. Mr Jackson is a cool ballad, all spacious deliveries and emotive moodiness, Happy To Be struts and swaggers and Soul Sister is as dark and delicious as its name suggests.
There is a wonderful blend of accessibility and authentic rootsiness that puts me in mind of Fleetwood Mac. Not the early purist blues of the Peter Green era nor the slick Californian supergroup schtick of the Buckingham/Nicks successes but that often overlooked transitional period between the two when Christine Perfect was the star of the show. A much more interesting period and as a reference point it tells you all you need to know about The Sheyana Band‘s deft weaving of generic honesty and their ability to pen commercial hits.