Thing - Not pure blues friends, but what an album. Sended to me
from Australia. Don't miss it. I would suggest to start with track 07 and
when you can stay in your chair, there's something wrong with your rhythm
feelin, to my humble opinion.
They’re the two left in the juke joint when the hurricane’s about to make
landfall, when the revelers have gone home, sweat-soaked and exhausted. The
bulbs are blown out, the floors full of glass, but two men are honour bound
to keep playing, pouring their sweat into the parched earth like libation.
In the best traditions of two man blues and roots, Swamp Thing are a duo
that you know are playing to stay alive. While Michael Barker’s chops are
legendary to the legions of JBT fans whose jaws dropped in that Better Man
solo, and Grant Haua’s no stranger to the folks in NZ, it’s possible that
harping on about the pedigree of the players gets in the way of the story
this album is telling. Swamp Thing are very much their own monster.
In all of two days Swamp Thing have made a totally unique first album –
Balladeer – a work that distills the inspired energy of two guys playing
their hearts and souls out on songs that talk of love, loss, hope and
salvation. With no overdubs, no production wizardry and blood and sweat
evident in every track, the recording was done with engineer Neil Baldock
and assisted by Benjamin Knapp at Roundhead studio Auckland. The mixing was
done by Eddie Rayner.
Swamp Thing are a power blues duo comprised of Grant Haua vocals/guitar and
Michael Barker drums/percussion/vocals. Hailing from Rotorua, Michael Barker
was a long time member of The John Butler Trio and is the touring drummer
with Kiwi legends Split Enz. Grant Haua is a well respected
singer/songwriter from Tauranga. These two unique musicians come together
bringing a wealth of experience, passion and love for their craft to make
blues flavored music with a deep groove and soulful spook. Swamp Thing
recorded their first album ‘ Balladeer ‘ at Round Head studio in may 2011.
This is an album that immediately forces the mind into an imagination of the
Grant Haua: vocals/guitar
Michael Barker: drums/percussion/vocals.