Monday, April 15, 2024

 Big Wolf Band see the Darker Side Of You

UK Blues Band of the Year nominees for this this year’s UK Blues Awards, the Big Wolf Band has released their latest single, ‘Darker Side Of You’.

‘Darker Side Of You’ is a dark and moody number about when love falls apart,” said Big Wolf Band’s vocalist and guitarist, Jonathan Earp. “It features a catchy guitar hook and some soulful backing vocals provided by Zoe Green.

“I like to write about a subject matter or a scenario rather than my own life experiences. The song tells the story about one person coming to terms that they are in a bad relationship, and they are trying to hold it all together. Robin Fox adds some nice piano. It’s simplistically beautiful.”

A slow blues number, the guitar playing exudes a Peter Green like quality of loneliness, fitting the song’s subject matter.

The third single taken from their forthcoming studio album, Rebel’s Journey, ‘Darker Side Of You’ is available on all streaming platforms from here and you can check out the official music video here at RAMzine.

Due Friday 19th April, Rebel’s Journey will be the band’s third album and the second instalment of a planned trilogy of such and been described as their “biggest and boldest release to date”, the new album is about the growth of Earp’s personal journey, and finds producer Mark Stuart and studio engineer Sheena Sear of M2 Studios once more employing their services on the band’s recordings.

Big Wolf Band has built a strong reputation on the live circuit, with dynamic shows covering all flavours of blues rock, over an expansive range of self-penned songs. Rebel’s Journey we’re told to expect “creativity, musicianship, and delivery”. The band’s ability to drift between genres while keeping their own sound is a big selling point amongst followers of the band.

The band released the second single taken the new album, ‘Living on Borrowed Time’, back in February. Earp said of that number: “This song is about battling depression and how sometimes you feel like you are living on borrowed time.

“I have felt in the past that I am looking over my shoulder, what happens if the next episode is the last and the black dog finally gets me. This really does tell that battle I have with those negative thoughts.”

Check out the video here at RAMzine, those swirling clocks match the organ’s swoon, the speeding hands do the same for he sustained guitar time on this rocking blues number, where the wellbeing message isn’t buried but neither does it get in the way of the song.

The single is available on streaming platforms here.

It followed on swiftly from the first single from the album, ‘Empire and a Prayer’ – A high energy, pedal to metal riff-based guitar track. Incorporating southern rock, Americana and hints of the blues, laced with catchy vocal hooks, driving piano and powerful drums. 

The song is about escapism, getting away from it all and in this case taking a drive in your favourite car to forget your daily worries. The track is also a little nod to a friend who has provided help to the band in the past. The backing vocals on this track and on the rest of the album is by Zoe Green. This song demonstrates the band’s ability to move through the gears with ease and ultimately demonstrates a more rocking sound. This track was co-written by Earp and Justin Johnson.

Rocking and racing, its smooth vocals offer a subtextual inner monologue on personal wellbeing without diluting the song’s overall blues cruising appeal.

Rebel’s Journey highlights my own personal battle with my mental and physical health,” said Earp. “I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (HEDS) which affects everything. I had surgery in mid-2019 during our Be Free tour to repair damage to my right shoulder, dislocations, and nerve pain. Unfortunately, the operation caused more pain and numbness and for nearly two years I struggled to play; some days to even hold a plectrum.

“Songs like ‘Standing in the Rain’, ‘Black Dog Blues’ and ‘Living on Borrowed Time’ are about the battles I had during those dark days. My condition will always be a challenge but one I live with and continue to prove doubters wrong.”

However, as Earp points out: “The album isn’t all doom and gloom, despite being in the blues genre. ‘Empire And A Prayer, my first co-written song with Justin Johnson, as well as ‘Got Me Reeling’ and ‘Living On Borrowed Time’. We have had many a joke with my dark writing style, Justin brings the light and love. ‘Rise Together’is one of the songs on the album I am proud of and is all about the power of love, rising together and that anything is possible.”

The full track listing of song featured on the album is: ‘Empire And A Prayer’, ‘Valley Of The Fallen Kings’, ‘Lay It On The Line’, ‘Rise Together’, ‘Six Strings Loaded’, ‘Black Dog Blues’, ‘Standing In The Rain’, ‘Living On Borrowed Time’, ‘Got Me Reeling’, ‘Crazy Love’, ‘Darker Side Of You’, ‘Just a Little Bit’ and ‘Too Many Times’.

Alongside Earp and rhythm guitar/backing vocalist Johnson, Mick Jeynes plays bass, Tim Jones drums, and Robin Fox piano and Hammond organ.

“Mick, Justin, Robin, and Tim played out of their skin. Mark and Sheena as always bringing it all together,” noted Ear, continuing: “Big shout out to Zoe Green for adding some amazing backing vocals. We even managed a first in the studio’s history by getting Sheena to add some gang vocals along with my wife on ‘Rise Together’. As the title of the album suggests, it has been one hell of a journey. The most challenging song on the album was ‘Standing In The Rain’. It’s a big old ballad of a song, lots of moving parts, orchestral parts, stops, starts and even a thunderstorm. Everyone delivered big time on this album.

2024 also sees Big Wolf Band hit a big milestone reaching their tenth year together as a band. From humble beginning as three-piece to the big sound the five of them now deliver. Rebel’s Journey thus being a fitting name for the album and their decade together. You can pre-order it on CD and pre-save digitally by clicking here.

The band will undertake their biggest headline tour to date adding dates in Germany and the Czech Republic. Tickets are available here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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