Tom Walbank: Blues in Dub (Self-Released) 

Like a whole generation of Brits, expat local bluesman Tom Walbank grew up with roots reggae and dub ringing in his ears, along with the punk rock of the time.

He's now taken the fractured, cut-up technology and studio chicanery of dub, drained out most of the reggae and blended it with his calling-card stripped down blues, and produced Blues in Dub, a digital-only collection of fourteen original tracks.

Mixing blues numbers run through a dub grinder like "Bright Light Dub," "Death Letter Dub" and "Satisfied Dub" with others — some more snippets than songs — that are pure, largely solo studio creations like "Bongo Dub," "Wareika Harp" and "Harmonica in Dub," and others that are more like field recordings ("Underpass," recorded in the Fourth Ave. underpass), Walbank has created some of the most original recordings to come out of Tucson in years.

This is not safe collegiate dub; it's dark, spooky stuff. "Louisiana Slide" digs deep into some backwoods swampy blues, while the title track mixes up conga, djembe, bass and Walbank's harp and guitar into a maelstrom of reverberated effects.

Walbank has help from various local musicians on several tracks, and benefits from the touch of several local engineers and mixers, but really it's Tom Walbank all the way, dubbing the blues, Tucson style.

More by Carl Hanni


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