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Andy GunnAndy Gunn
Album: Miracle Of Healing
Label: Market Square
Tracks: 11

To say Andy Gunn has paid his dues is to put it mildly. The fact this album was born while he was in hospital battling cancer.

Thanks to his relationship with Daintees frontman Martin Stephenson, the basic songs were recorded onto a laptop. Martin then took the songs to musicians across the UK and Miracle of Healing is the result. "We got there in the end, says Andy in the liner notes.

"There is a spiritual theme running through the album", adds Andy, who is based in Inverness, Scotland.

Among the musicians who feature on this album, including two fellow members of the Daintees - Kate Stephenson (drums) and John Steel (keyboards). Neil Harland plays bass. Jim Hornsby plays Dobro, Malcolm McMaster plays pedal steel and Stevie Smith plays harp.

The album kicks off with Are We Thru - a down and dirty blues complete with a stunning harmonica solo, crisp drumming and precise bass, over which Andy lays down some meaty blues guitar.

The band all play their part in Black Heart which sees Andy letting rip with some blues guitar just on the edge of feedback. His tone is very dirty and atmospheric. Great stuff.

Beyond The Open Door is more mellow and thoughtful. Brighter Day features a great rollicking bass and crisp drums. It has the feel of old-time soul with another telling contribution from Stevie Smith.

Freedom Reality is another mid-tempo song with guitar fills liberally littered throughout. The musicianship throughout is top drawer.

Soul influences are heard on Harmony of One, Hold On is a gentler song, with some sweet organ and a great Daintee-esh feel, and the title track is a heartfelt song that builds and builds.

It's back to the blues with Trouble Women, with its throbbing bass and highline drumming and ever-so tasteful guitar and harp.

Road That Leads Back Home is a fitting final track with splendid backing singing and keyboards. Well done to all concerned in producing this fine album.

John Knighton