It no secret that outstanding heavy players like Kelly Carmichael, Victor Griffin, Dale Flood or Scott 'Wino' Weinrich have been strongly influenced by Blues and Jazz. Just listen close to their works and you will agree with me. Kelly Carmichael, guitarist of Internal Void and Pentagram, is the first one who's paying tribute to his roots with his first solo album, entitled "Old Stock". It's obviously that this man is a great fan of the good old Blues, and he started his label Dogstreet Records to have a solid independant base to release his solo albums. First off, I'm very glad that Kelly had sent me a cd-r copy of "Old Stock", and it was a honour for me to receive it. Not only because of the fact that I'm a huge fan of Internal Void, but also due to my personal fondness for traditional Blues.
When I found his package in my mailbox, I immediately opened it and put the disc in my player. Well, and what can I say - I'm not disappointed for a second! Kelly Carmichael had chosen ten old traditional blues cuts that are reaching from delta blues to folk blues to ragtime to spirituals. Of course, here are some well-known standards to find like "Dust My Broom", "Walking Blues" or "Evil Hearted Me" just to name a few. At first, let me say that he's not only a significant guitarplayer, but a very talented singer too. I was positively surprised about his soulful expressive vocals, who adds a very own note to the songs. Another great thing here is his authentic playing. In the tradition of the legendary black blues men, he only plays acoustic guitar and dobro with additional use of a bottleneck (what else!).
Sometimes female background vocals as in "Mr. Hobo", "While I was in Heaven Sitting" or the gorgeous cut "Beulah Land" (with violin!) makes the music more emotional and intense. I can't say how much I love this song. Apart of a violin other featured instruments are a mouth harp as in "Hush", "Walking Blues" or in the groovy "Shame On Me". His interpretations of classics like the above mentioned "Dust My Broom" are also very tasteful arranged and the listener can feel that Kelly Carmchael had put his heart and soul into the recordings. "Old Stock" is an excellent blues album and more than just a simple repetition of the 12-bar standards. The old black musicians would be proud and I hope he keeps this up. So, if you dig the good old blues you just can't go wrong with this album!!!