‘Garden Of Ashes’ by Duke Garwood (album)
The South London bluesman ups the ante in his battle against the forces of darkness with his latest soulful missive.
Multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood has worked with a number of people in recent years, most notably Mark Lanegan who produced 2015’s critically acclaimed Heavy Love. Of his many collaborators, it’s Lanegan whose influence is most felt here through the brooding guitar riffs, although Garwood’s voice is more polished and less world-weary.
As the album unfolds, Garwood leads us sage-like through the modern world; the gritty blues sound belying a gentleness and calm that only comes with the wisdom of middle-age and world travel. Sing To The Sky softly lulls the listener to a place where peace can be found and Heat Us Down reminds us that – in these days of fear and anger – we should seek solace in each other’s company. The songs are slowly driven on with just a light smattering of drums applied and little room for guitar frivolity.
As the sun sets with album closer Coldblooded: The Return we can rest easier knowing that, although we’re going to visit some dark places, with Duke Garwood by our side we might just make it through.
Verdict: Soul-saving sounds