''I didn't make the call/'Cos I was in a blue funk/Kind o' went AWOL/I fell into a blue funk/Pulled myself out of the mire/Lift myself a little higher/Get out of this blue funk.''
From the new double album out today and which was recorded at a number of locations over an unspecified period in the Musicbox Studios, Cardiff; Culloden Hotel, County Down; Real World Studios, Wiltshire; Subterania, London and the Bath Spa Hotel, Bath, the Lockdown blues are at the heart of Latest Record Project Vol. 1 warts and all. Everything connects in the overlap spanning soul specifically in a Ray Charles sense and jazz flavoured by Richard Dunn on Hammond organ. The big songs that immediately embedded deep within me quickly enough after several listens but pretty much immediately include top of the heap the savage moodswing sentiment of 'Blue Funk' which is spectacular (in case you were wondering not the same tune as the Bags and Brother Ray Soul Brothers (1958) instrumental of the same name). On the number Limerick man Dave Keary goes B. B. King-like at the beginning in a glorious burst and Van really is in the moment. Elsewhere 'Big Lie' has a very good duet with Chris Farlowe. 'A Few Bars Early' has an original angle to it. 'Thank God for the Blues' grooves. The sha-la-la-las on the title track sparkle and newcomer backing singer Kelly Smiley blends really well with Dana Masters. In the rhythm section Teena Lyle on percussion makes a big difference throughout the double album as she did in the band with Van opening PowerHaus in Camden Town back in December. On BMG.