We won't say it's a match made in heaven, but the pairing of dark-folkie Delaney Davidson and ex-Warratah Barry Saunders certainly suggests an unholy blues alliance created at the dusty crossroads. Even if the press material concedes they initially joined forces in, of all places, a church.
Word Gets Around could certainly prove a religious experience for some. Kicking off with a "Woo!" and a hard stomping beat 19 Days could be a lost classic from the Stones, before another "Woo!" announces the well-travelled bluesy bounce of the title track.
It's followed by standout track Out of Our Hands, a hook-infested blues-pop gem that flows into the terrific Stolen River. This opening run of four tracks is nothing less than rapturous. The pair's strengths, Davidson's dark kook and Saunders' blues pedigree, blending together seamlessly and leading them to a songwriting promised land.
It's on Special Rider Blues that the duo take the foot off the gas a little. It's a solid tune but is the sort of fuzzy desert blues that you've heard many times before. Similarly, Blues in this Room is loose porch blues that will ring familiar.
These tracks feel a little like the duo are preaching to the converted rather than finding their own gospel. Blues purists will dig them, but I found much more excitement in tracks where their worlds collide, like on the dirty rock 'n' roll of All Fall Down.
On album closer Long Way Home the pair sing, "We took some wild, wild turns, down one-way streets and out again,". They could almost be describing the album.
Delaney Davidson & Barry Saunders
Word Gets Around
Rough Diamond Records
Spread the word, this is damn good.