Former Motorhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke had not played with a keyboardist since performing with Curtis Knight in the’70s. A few years ago Clarke was introduced to jazz/funk keyboardist Bill Sharpe (Shakatak) and they gave the blues a go. The project produced a healthy supply of heavy blues; however, it lingered on the backburner until last year. This year Clarke and Sharpe finally got to release the material as a genuine modern blues album, Make My Day: Back to Blues — as good as many of them being put out today.

Clarke also takes his stab at vocals (after many challenging relationships with professional singers) on Make My Day: Back to Blues and serves up adequate rough and tumble blues vocals. With a “I-don’t-give-a-shit” delivery, Clarke sounds just like a man down on his luck, playing dive bars and scrapping up just enough money to survive. But the exceptional parts that make up Make My Day: Back to Blues are the guitar work from Clarke and the keys from album collaborator Bill Sharpe (also some ace backing vocals by Jill Saward of Shakatak to really enhance the songs).

Most songs like “Nothing Left” and “Mountains to the Sea” chug steady blues out with Clarke accenting guitar perfectly all the way through. “Make My Day” is a standout with a smooth Steely Dan approach. But the instrumental “One Way” is actually the song to return to.

Now that Clarke has successfully gone ‘back to blues,’ perhaps he has the confidence to move forward with a follow-up.

Label: MVD