Deborah Bonham

The Old Hyde

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Over 15 years separate Deborah Bonham's debut album from this, her sophomore set, but she remains instantly recognizable all the same. Her voice is a little more lived-in, perhaps, and her delivery a lot more assured, but still the dynamo who succeeded so brilliantly across For You and the Moon sparks and sparkles across The Old Hyde, to deliver one of the best blues-rock albums of the early 21st century. Self-composed for the most part, but striking especial gold across covers of "Need Your Love So Bad" and Ike Turner's "Black Coffee," Old Hyde is reminiscent in places of Maggie Bell; "No Angel" could almost be a lost Stone the Crows classic. But it's only a fleeting resemblance...as close as Bonham's self-composed "Go Now" is to the Bessie Banks blues of the same name. Similarly, the harder rocking instincts that drive the bulk of the album are derailed on a regular basis, with the mandolin-driven reggae lilt of "Open Up Your Heart" and the acoustic ballad "Without You" stepping especially far out to shatter preconceptions. Add guest appearances from brother Jason Bonham, bassist (and producer) Mo Foster, Robbie McIntosh and Mick Fleetwood, and that lineup alone lets you know that The Old Hyde mines some remarkable seams. Thirteen tracks strong, with not a bummer in sight, a limited-edition version of the album appends three further cuts by way of a bonus CD: covers of Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird," Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," and, incredibly, Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore," a spellbinding duet with Jason, and as powerful in its own way as the original ever was.

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