The Kris Barras Band – The Divine & Dirty
The Kris Barras Band - The Divine & Dirty
(Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)

Release Date: Out Now

It’s always a treat when you discover a new talent that you’ve not uncovered before but it’s almost a little galling when they appear to have been under your nose the whole ruddy time. Kris Barras hails from Torquay on the English Riviera but you wouldn’t know it to hear him sing and shake the life out of his guitar. This album kicks you hard from the word go with the aptly titled ‘Kick Me Down’ which roars in to life with a lumbering, insistent beat and slathered organs doing their best to keep the straps on a wailing guitar. The male vocal harmonies that open up ‘Hail Mary’ are pure Bon Jovi but it still sends a shiver down the spine when that guitar kicks in before the grammatically challenging ‘I Don’t Owe Nobody Nothing’ breaks out the blues rock guitar and distorted vocals of Barras with rib shaking power. It’s a strong start and no mistake.

‘Propane’ takes things in a more Chris Rea on Radio 2 direction which loses some of the momentum but ‘Wrong Place, Wrong Time’ sets the course right with a wailing blues guitar and the kind of time band that you need to let your frontman wail. ‘Lovers or Losers’ gets that Bon Jovi vibe back again but Barras’ voice more than stands up to the genre with a more Wild-West twang than a Wurzels Westcountry drawl. If you were in any doubt over the technical ability of Kris Barras then just tune in to the furious guitar playing of ‘She’s More Than Enough’ or the honky-tonk fun of ‘Stitch Me Up’ for proof.

The obligatory ballad of ‘Hold on for Tomorrow’ is a touch on the cheesy side for my liking but I’m sure it will provide the necessary respite during an otherwise intense live set. ‘Blood on your Hands’, meanwhile, sets in to a MOR rock formula which doesn’t quite live up to some of the other tracks but closing blues jam ‘Watching Over Me’ has an authentic vibe to it that you could hear wafting out of a late-night blues bar in some downtown part of any American city down on it’s luck. It’s not the complete album you might hope for from such a brightly burning talent but there is lots here to get excited about – not that I’m criticising you understand, Barras is a former MMA star after all…

Live Dates:

18th May – The Abertillery Blues Rock Festival, Abertillery
2nd June – Camden Rocks Festival, London
15th June – LoveRocks Festival, Ferndown
20th June – Borderline, London
21st June – Rock City, Nottingham
22nd June – Marsh Blues Club, Huddersfield
23rd June – Durham Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival, Tyne & Wear
29th June – Maidstone Leisure Centre, Maidstone
1st July – Ramblin Man Fair, Maidstone w/Blackberry Smoke + Chas & Dave
22nd July – Upton, Worcester
28th July – The Rock & Blues Custom Show, Pentrich
4th August – Calstock Bike Show, Calstock
18th August – Motor City Festival, Ljubljana
7th September – Phoenix, Exeter
9th September – Ekletica Festival, Isle of Wight
22nd September – Night & Day, Manchester
29th September – The Kent Blues Collective Festival, Gillingham