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Willem Maker - New Moon Hand

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 27 / 6 / 2009

Willem Maker - New Moon Hand
Label: Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum
Format: CD


Emotive, if somewhat over polished blues on second album from Maryland-born singer-songwriter, Willem Maker, whose tales of his upbringing and heavy metal poisoning have a dramatic effect

Willem Maker has the right voice for this music, a laid back, smoky take on the blues. His slightly laboured drawl and short delivery drifts silkily over the exemplary guitar work. Maker is at his most impactful when he launches into tales of growing up in Carroll County, Maryland, USA, and the heavy metal poisoning he suffered due to waste dumping it. 'Lead + Mercury' contains that quality of being deeply disturbing that the best blues has in abundance. In fact Maker barely puts a foot wrong, and in the end this becomes the problem. 'New Moon Hand' is too slick for its own good. Maker doesn't put a foot wrong, but equally, despite demonstrating his clear talent he never sounds like he is pushing against, or even approaching the edges of his comfort zone. Many of the songs here carry serious emotional heft, but others seem to devolve into a succession of phrases that sound appropriately blues-y but never link together to form a truly great song. The music can be equally lacking in thrust. Clearly everyone involved knows their way around their instruments with a fair degree of skill. But they never seem to click into a whole that is more than the sum of their parts. Still, while in places it fails to make a lasting impression, 'New Moon Hand' is enjoyable in its entirety and Maker is another man worth watching on the ever reliable Fat Possum label.

Track Listing:-
1 Black Beach Boogie
2 Rain on a Shinin
3 White Lady
4 Hex Blues
5 Saints Weep Wine
6 The Greatest Hit
7 Stars Fell On
8 New Moon Hand
9 Old Pirate's Song
10 Lead & Mercury
11 Hard to Hold
12 Rosalie

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