Pete Alderton,
Living on Love
(Ozella, 2007)

Pete Alderton plays the blues on an acoustic guitar and harmonica -- which is not unusual, certainly, but add in the fact he's from rural England and that throws a hammer into the machine. He claims in a spoken introduction that you don't just decide to play the blues or make a blues CD; you have to be driven, pushed on by an internal drive. He has that drive.

His "Song for David" offers a look at his strengths and weaknesses. The first guitar is miked low so that the second guitar drowns it out. Both guitars establish a pattern from which there is no variation. The song suffers from a sameness.

Unfortunately, so does the CD. The arrangements have a predictability to them. After the first few bars, you've got it, and since there is no variation from it, you find yourself anticipating what comes next.

Alderton's talent gets lost in the mix. When he picks up the harmonica, things get a little better, but by then the CD has lost a lot of its appeal. Pete Alderton needs a better setting.

by Michael Scott Cain
5 May 2007