The James Holkworth Conspiracy has returned with a new album. Last time we heard from them it was with the 2020 release “Solo In Sodom”, this time we introduce you to “Swamp Blues Murder” as their latest release.
With my roots being from the Southeast USA, when it came to rock music, it was this style of blues rock that was spinning around as part of my earliest influences. Bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet, Tom Petty, Stephen Ray Vaughan, Bad Company, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and so many more laid this foundation of rock music for me. With James Holkworth Conspiracy, I hear so many of my early influences in the mix that brings instant nostalgia making the music resonate much more with me.
The album tracklist has some fun track titles, but when it comes to the music it’s serious with talent. ‘Porn and Voodoo’ gave me a laugh at the title but the song is packed with great music and rich, gritty vocal tones. The lyrics were not quite as serious as the actual production of the track. The solo was long, filled with superb skill and led the track to the end.
This same feel was carried through the rest of the album. Some tracks were filled with a deep blues feeling, others a bit more southern rock. All had vocals that perfectly matched each song with intent. The skill of the writing and musicianship was there on every single track. You will also get a mix of organs, harmonica, violin, and steel guitars on some to switch things up from time to time too.
When it came to a track that really captured my attention it was ‘Postcard’. This track was stripped down with less flare while adding in a violin and steel guitar. It is the kind of song we’d sit out on the porch and have a cool beverage in summer with friends and enjoy just visiting. To me, it felt like one of those songs that just becomes part of the soundtrack of your life. Nothing pretentious, just good feeling music built on the authentic roots of blues rock.
There’s not a bad song on this album. They all bring something to the full experience and have a perfect place in the mix of the album. The last track gave me a laugh, being that I am American, boy did this one feel familiar! The great things that we can do here and the things we have to appreciate, but also the complete absurdity of contradictions we have that make things look insane and rightfully so to many here and the world around us. This one felt like a hot poker in my side, but I can’t disagree with it either!
All in all, this is another great album from James Holkworth Conspiracy. This is one you should check out and add to your collection. It’s authentic, it’s fun and just a great listening experience.
James Holkworth Conspiracy
Title: Swamp Blues Murder
Label: Self Release
Genre: Blue Rock
Release Date: No hard release date, so look for the album within two weeks from date of this review.
Best tracks: Postcard, On The Beach, Porn and Voodoo
James Holkworth Conspiracy are:
James Holkworth – Lead Vocals
Leroy Leduf – Bass
Pete Ledderman – Guitar
Gus Rackbatter – Drums
Annie McNivendale – Backing Vocals
Adam Barron – Vocals
Album Mix & Mastered by Markus Nilsson
Videos: Gunner Sandman
Pictures: Caroline Södergren