ROYAL OAK HAMPTON
Friday 16th January 2009
Ed Hudson Band
“Hey little thing let me light your candle”
Let there be Rock – The Ed Hudson Band
The Ed Hudson Band plays a variety of warm and agreeable country rock sounds with an aggressive blues-rock edge… a bit more alt country than pure blues but ‘fused’ well so the music retains an authentic rock n roll sound. The band plays as a trio so it is no surprise that the lively set includes covers of tunes from the likes of ZZ Top and Thin Lizzy. Bravely, though, the boys did manage to pull off a successful rendition of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ which was originally played by a whole ‘backyard’ of teenage friends including a keyboardist.
Ed Hudson looks every inch of a Mississippi swampland good ‘ole boy… raised on a diet of Yazoo catfish gumbo and muddy water blues. But, in fact, Ed got the musical bug in West Cumbria (back in the good ‘ole U of K) in the 1980’s when he played in a punk band and, later, a hard rock group called Belfagan. Ed moved to London town in 1993 and spent years gigging with bands like Panting Skeletons, Good Company, The Flame Tattoo and Three State Blues. By the early 2000’s Ed was recording and touring with the band Red Road co-writing much of their material but failing to get noticed by the industry- even though he was managed by Trinifold (Who,Page and Plant, Judas Priest.)
Red Road never went stellar the way they shoulda, and in 2001 Ed started to sing and play guitar for Bad II The Bone. We are now fortunate to be able to see Ed Hudson and his various side projects near to us somewhere in Middlesex County as he tours the more intimate local venues with his choogling twangy guitar and bluesey improvisations.
When I saw the band (at The Royal Oak, Hampton) the set-list included “Cocaine”, the song written and recorded by Lynrd
Skynrd songwriter J.J. Cale in 1975 but most widely known in a cover version recorded by Eric Clapton. In this song Ed, wearing his cowboy hat, boots and denim combo, smoothly and soulfully sings out the lyrics (the song is unquestionably anti-drugs) whilst often incorporating simultaneous lead and rhythm parts on his guitar. His bassist and drummer are steadfast and reliable compadres to these living blues- but they never dare to rise in stature to threaten the main man. Ed rules the stage with a gentle hand, though, asking and persuading rather demanding song choices, adjustments to sound and lights, re-tunes etc. He is a compassionate and loyal band-leader and even allows the bass player to vocalise on the Stones delta blues cover “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”.
Free’s ‘Wishing Well’ (later covered by Pearl Jam & Blackfoot) provided ample opportunity for the band to grind up some notches and pull out some raw chords whilst weeping some emotion into their pure RnB sounds. The band also covers Otis
Redding’s “Hard to Handle” but more in the style of the Black Crowes circa 1993 than the original.
Ed has an affection for the British blues scene of the 1960-70s, and the set included numbers from the Free, Eric Clapton and the Stones song-book but he also adds some welcome heavy metal touches, with songs like Deep Purple’s ‘Black Knight’, to keep the punters roaring for more.
Wearing a ‘Four Wheel Drive’ T-shirt (keeping local new music alive and well in Middlesex) our blues rock hero can jam hard with the best of ‘em. For a night of raw-edged insight and clear blue sky ballsy balladeering, this band is not to be missed.
So you and I are lucky, because the Ed Hudson Band is also one of the hardest working acts in the business, with plenty of dates in the near future at venues near you!