J.D. Hangover are a side project by two Italian Musicians, Stiv Cantarelli and Roberto Villa. It was originally conceived as a back to basics tape drop project where copies would be given free to passing strangers or left in book shops, cafes etc. However, one copy ended up with the folks at Annibale Records and they persuaded the boys to put the stuff out as an EP recorded on one inch tape in one-take old school. It's out on CD or cassette.
The EP opens with Barrellhouse Queen: a song that refused to play on my computer but worked fine on the proper stereo as it opens with a Suicide-style pulse as Stiv asks if she'll dance for him. I assume he has a glass of Jack in his mitts at the time, before he accuses her of stalking him! But this tale needs to he heard as it's stripped back blues cacophony is something to marvel at as you wait for the barrelhouse organ to kick in at the end of the song.
Next is the slow brooding Headspinner Blues, which sounds like its from the deep dark bayou, a porch blues reminiscent of Lightnin' Hopkins or RL Burnside.
Mr Williamson is a sideways tribute to the various Sonny Boy's or just one in particular and you can feel the warmth of the tube amps and that fine old RCA microphone which makes this mono recording feel like it's anything but that. Actually, it makes me wonder if the cassette original sounds better or worse than the one inch tape release on the E.P.
Broken Bones Blues uses the Farfisa and Roland TR77 to set up another Suicide-style pulse for Stiv to tell his tale of wracked emotion and pain. Stylistically, it sounds quite similar to the recent album by Bone Zeno Black Milk and then the guitar comes in to really make you feel the pain of his broken bones.
Problem Child feels like a very old blues tune being re-worked at a nice slow pace, which makes to try to remember if the tune I'm thinking of is by Elmore James or Blind Blake or someone similar as they cart Stiv off to reform school before writing him a letter and letting the harmonica be the full stop at the end of it.
The EP closes with Down At The Public House where they are drowning themselves in an effort to feel better and ordering another round. But this is no rousing drinking tune - more the sort you play to explain just what went wrong the night before and how you ended up like you did. It's slow and tortured like you may be the next day, still you can always go back to the Public House again later!
This is a cool EP that anyone into not the same old blues crap blues should love. Find out more at: JD Hangover Facebook page