With a career stretching back to the late 1980s, Darren Watson is by now one of this country’s most well-respected blues artists – musician, songwriter and singer.
Produced by Lee Prebble at the Surgery, ‘Too Many Millionaires’ was recorded on vintage equipment and live, presenting a more authentic, less polished recording of Watson’s material that eschews his trademark electric guitar and studio detailing.
This raw production serves Watson well, the performances sound more immediate, his political and social messages sharper. Watson’s material is drawn from what he terms ‘all over’ the roots music spectrum, especially recalling the blues tradition stretching back to the early 20th century.
Past Tense is one song that fits into that category, incorporating the classic sound of harmonica and acoustic guitar into his method. The inclusion of resonator guitar and piano on Un-Love Me is especially potent, and works well with Watson’s strident voice.
Clocking in at a short, sharp 33 minutes, the eight songs of ‘Too Many Millionaires’ show Watson comfortable working in the realm of authentic blues, and potentially pointing to an altered course for his own approach to the blues.