KARL DEMATA – CROSS THE MOUNTAIN

Released September 12th 2011 on Green Lizard Records

An Italian native but after a period of travelling now a UK resident, Karl Demata steps up to the plate to release his debut album of blues powered rock.  Inspired by the late sixties British and American blues rock scene Karl has a playing palette that covers numerous genres yet its his love of the blues that if featured here.

With a style not a million miles away from vintage sounds ala Cream and the Allman Brothers, “Cross The Mountain” is a power trio offering which at times also has hints of Joe Bonamassa’s earlier work and from a heavier side of things the Stoney Curtis Band.  With some tasty guitar work and pleasing songs this is an enjoyable listen, nothing groundbreaking but Karl’s guitar work will you’re your interest throughout the 11 tracks. Also for blues fans out there the album features guest performances from percussionist Hugh Flint (from John Mayall Bluesbreakers ‘Beano’ fame).

Highlights to these ears come in the guise of the laid back “Until The End” with its moody slide parts, the upbeat  groove of “Looking Through You”  and the mid-tempo waters of “Failing Design” which its Bonamassa style groove and creamy lead lines creates an intoxicating sound.  On the downside the production is rather basic and lacks some excitement in the final mix but as this is self financed its more than acceptable and still perfectly listenable. Also Karl’s vocals don’t always sit well with some of the material, on the moodier numbers they work well and have an almost Bob Dylan meets Johnny Winter drawl to them which is likeable enough, but for the most part Karl does tend to stay within a comfort zone m which does come across as a little monotonous after a while.

That said this is a pleasant enough debut release and worth a check out for blues rock fans out there.

Rating – 75%

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