The Andy Gunn Band
The Raigmore Motel
ACCORDING to John Lee Hooker, who was something of an expert on the subject, blues is a healer.
Local bluesman Andy Gunn would probably agree.
His latest album is called The Miracle of Healing, marking Gunn’s passing through an unhappy period of his life, and its re-release provided a good excuse to have a second launch party with some old friends and a new look band.
Among those old friends was Vikki Kitson, Gunn’s former bandmate from his first professional band, Jumpin’ The Gunn, whose own musical journey took them from Charleston Academy to a Memphis recording studio.
Kitson’s guest vocals were a very welcome addition to the band’s musical armoury and while the heavier numbers played to her strengths as a singer, she also showed her more sensitive side with gentler numbers like a blusey take on Fred Neil’s The Dolphins.
Gunn’s voice proved perfectly serviceable on those numbers where he was not joined by Kitson, but it is as a guitarist that he truly excels, playfully trading licks with second guitarist Fraser McLean or showing off some slide guitar than did credit to material borrowed from the likes of Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf and Freddie King, as well as his own original songs.
Considering this was an album relaunch party, the set list was rather heavy on the crowd pleasingly familiar, including a post-encore double bill of Killing Floor and Sweet Home Chicago.
However, there were enough songs from Miracle of Healing to give a flavour of the album, which shifted a few copies on the night, the material often providing a more reflective counterpoint to the barnstorming blues standards.
And there is more to come, with Gunn introducing a song with the promise: "This is a tune me and Vikki wrote. It’s not on this album, but it’s going to be on the next one."
On the strength of Gunn’s rousing Raigmore set, that is something to look forward to.