This second album Wellington bluesman Del Thomas offers a hybrid of blues and country with a raw edge. Simplicity is the key to ‘Shifting Sands” character and the space created in the songs is appealing. The mood varies from the gently driving Movin’ On to the more loping and introspective Looking For A Reason. Jaunty instrumental Jimmie’s Jive (a nod to fave guitarists Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan) breaks up the early tracks, with Phil McLaughlin‘s clear guitar tone and simple blues phrasing leading the way. Thomas manages to squeeze in moments of country influence, but the blues is never too far away in his arrangements. While McLaughlin’s guitar input is a key to the album’s unique flavour, a second instrumental, Finnen Haaddie, with its slow Celtic dirge, shows multi-instrumentalist Thomas can handle the lead guitar role just as well himself. With James Shanks‘ drumming, the live feel of the recording and the raw production stays true to the rootsy, blues intent, and will be sure to translate well from the CD changer to live performance.