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Ian Siegal & Jimbo MathusIan Siegal & Jimbo Mathus
Album: Wayward Sons
Label: Newgene
Tracks: 21

Your eyes are not deceiving you, yes there are 21 tracks on this live album from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Matthus.

The humble CD can only hold a maximum of 74 minutes and this fine album manages to shoehorn a wonderful 73 minutes 49 seconds of music, capturing a concert recorded at the Café De Noot in Hoogland, Holland in the autumn of 2014.

As it's live, it's full of the stage banter that goes to make a concert so special.

Ian Siegal is on top form as only he can be. The much decorated British blues maestro teams up with award- winner Jimbo Matthus who hails from Mississippi. You can feel the chemistry between them - multi instrumentalist Matthus complementing Ian's powerhouse vocals and guitar.

They first teamed up in 2013 when Matthus contributed banjo and mandolin to Siegal's Picnic Sessions album.

The Wayward Sons weave their way through a great set combining classics such Mary Don't You Weep and Townes Van Zandt's Heavenly Houseboat Blues with classic blues such as Stack O'Lee and Ludella.

The influence of American classics is well represented here - Jesse James and Casey Jones - just two of the songs that get the full treatment.

The two musicians share vocal duties, but contribute tellingly on each other's songs with some superb backing vocals. You can almost smell the chemistry between them. Siegal taking a guitar break on Casey Jones as Matthus blows hard on his harmonica.

The sound quality is remarkable. The audience just lap it up.

Siegal wraps up the first half of the set with a heartfelt Crazy Old Soldier, with Matthus chuckling along. The musicianship is stunning and makes this live album come alive.

The second set keeps the quality levels sky high, starting with Tallahatchie and Old Earl ("a song about a lazy man").

Siegal turns his hand to the more traditional blues with a sparkling version of Ludella and Matthus follows it up with the much-covered standard Stack O'Lee, complete with a mercifully understated kazoo.

It's all here, questions about what key the next song is in, such as at the start of Siegal's Talkin' Overseas Pirate Blues.

As the concert nears the end it's time for Leadbelly's classic Good Night Irene. The stirring Milltown features poignant slide from Siegal.

There's even time to squeeze in a couple of encores - a storming I'll Fly Away and Dirty Old Town - and then it's over.

Siegal and Matthus are touring Europe and they will in the UK from May 17 until June 3 and if this album is anything to go by we are in for a treat.

John Knighton