Release Date: Out Now
If you ever see two scruffy, bearded blokes sat in the corner of a Cornish pub with a couple of guitars and half a drumkit then the chances are it’s the prolific jam duo Dew Barf and you’ll be in for a right treat. You see, Dew Barf (literally translated from Cornish it means Two Beards) are the stuff of legend and always guarantee a great night of entertainment so it is particularly exciting to receive this, their debut album. ‘Old School Rules’ opens up with the old Appalachian folk ditty ‘Cripple Creek’ which sounds like Ray Davies jamming with Seasick Steve and that really sets the scene for the whole album. Up next is ‘Five Star Fuckin’ Around’ which takes the blues back to it’s roots with a stomping rhythm section and excellent finger work on the neck of a beaten guitar.
There’s no doubting the technical ability of these two gents but it’s the fact that they blend it with such excellent feel and natural groove that makes this such a listenable band. ‘Generation X’ is the perfect example of this as Queen-esque bass line is matched by the sublime picking on the acoustic guitar. The superb folk-rock stomp of ‘Richard Shipsey’ is the kind of bone rattling genius that draws unsuspecting strangers to dark corners of pubs and, wonderfully, is apparently named after the guy that taught axeman Andy Boddington these riffs back in the day. This is followed by a brace of covers (namely T Rex’s ‘Get It On’ and Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’) which have their own Dew Barf stamp on them without ever losing the energy and zest of the originals.
‘Long Monday’ is an altogether calmer affair as the pair take on the Americana of John Prine before Golden Earring’s ‘Radar Love’ rattles into life coming over the horizon all snarling engines and glaring headlights. What follows this is a live favourite that has made grown men cry, grannies dance with teenagers and clubbers lose their shit to a couple of old guys with guitars. This is an epic 15-minute version of the Faithless classic ‘Insomnia’ and it is immense. The guitars go through some sort of metamorphosis from frantic strumming and Flamenco style flicks to finding that groove and that oh so famous melody. ‘Gotcha!’ is up next and opens with a morse code message and a slightly evil laugh before settling in to a nice 70s cop show theme with funky guitars and a bubbling bass line,
After a brief and brilliantly inexplicable pause for the ‘College Hornpipe’, we are given another brace of versions with Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ and Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’ getting the blues folk treatment with aplomb. ‘In The Pub’ is skiffle meets Chas’n’Dave in the most brilliant way and then the album closes out with ‘Billy in the Lowground’ – a Tony Rice track which dispels any doubts you had about the playing abilities of these two reprobates. The album was recorded in around 6 hours with minimal set up and that live energy really comes through which is lucky because it’s that energy that makes Dew Barf so special. I’m not sure anything will ever match the pure joy of seeing these two hold an audience in the palm of their hand but this album comes darn close so if you can’t get to a gig then 2nd best will have to do.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/dewbarf/
10th January – Queens Arms, Torpoint
11th January – Old School, Pelynt