Sandi Thom ‘Flesh and blood’ (Guardian Angel) 4/5

Recorded during a turbulent period during the singers personal life, this fourth album offering from Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom combines acoustic folk and blues-rock hues and for that reason alone makes for a fascinating listen. In fact Thom excels on the gentle acoustic blues guitar of ‘I owe you zero’ which neatly cuts across the boundaries of blues and folk and sounds all the better for it. Another winning tune is ‘I see the devil in you’ which is also the subject of a real life break up in a personal relationship that Thom endured. There is a brave attempt at reworking some classic blues standards, most notably on ‘Stormy weather’ with a 1970s Stevie Wonder-esque clavinet solo which imbues the song with Thom’s own individual vision and the number transforms into an uptempo blues-rock piece. A moody version of Ledbelly’s evergreen ‘In the pines’ features soulful vocals from Thom and some hammond organ. Being the other half of blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa definitely helps, but Thom is already a fine musician in her own right. Sandi Thom is, then, a musician of no little talent and on this latest recording demonstrates precisely why she is one of the major new names on the block and one who is fully capable of widening access of the folk-blues and blues-rock sub-genres to an infinitely wider audience.

Tim Stenhouse