South London-based bluesman Duke Garwood returns with his sixth studio album ‘Garden Of Ashes.’ Although the passionate performer is disheartened by the recent world events, he takes his disillusionment and channels it into love and hope on these new songs. I can’t say it is all positive, but the talented musician is doing his best to bring positivity to an otherwise bleak situation.
With his brooding baritone leading the way, the songs are slow, calculated blues numbers with haunting guitar slides, lazy drum beats and rumbling bass. To pinpoint the sound on ‘Garden of Ashes’ just imagine if Mark Lanegan fronted Cowboy Junkies.
Garwood is an old soul with a lot of weight on his shoulders and a lot of love in his heart, which he transcribes into these songs. Although some of the songs run together, they all play out like little novels with music as Garwood crafts a language all his own. He is a unique individual, much like Tom Waits, and you have to applaud his efforts to bring people some sunshine in a rather bleak and stormy time.