96kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Caroline Records 2557718515 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
Is it just me, or is Van the Man having a bit of an Indian summer, seemingly banging out albums at a remarkable pace? Certainly even at 72 the old boy is showing no signs of slowing down, and this rootsy set of Chicago blues tracks, mixing covers and originals, is one of his strongest offerings of late. What’s more, he has a pretty stellar group of collaborators here, including Jeff Beck, Chris Farlowe, Jason Rebello, Paul Jones and even Georgie Fame – which may help account for the sometime slightly rough and ready sound, presumably sourced from a diversity of studios [see PM’s Lab Report, below]. However, who wants their blues squeaky-clean and sanitised when it can sound as real and immediate as this? Van’s in fine voice, the musicians give every impression that they’re having an absolute ball, and there’s a real charm to the whole enterprise. AE
Sound Quality: 80%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
There’s a mish-mash of files here – trks 1 and 6 are ‘clean’ upsamples from 48kHz, trks 3, 5 and 9 have higher noise and are sourced from 96kHz (or 88.2kHz?) masters while the remainder [inc. trk 10, above] are limited by tape to ~28kHz. PM
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