For those of you with short attention spans, here are the important details: 02/01/1978 is the debut solo album by Kris Dollimore. It is also the first release on Sun Pier Recordings. It may well fall into the category of blues, for those who like to pigeon-hole things, but more than that, it is a truly human record.
You see the Mississipi isnít the only river, or the only delta. Cotton isnít the only crop. For that matter Chicago isnít the only urban space. The late, great Eddie ĎSoní House once said that there is only one kind of blues, that that occurs between a man and a woman. While this is debatable, it is certainly true that the blues has always contained universal truths.
Kris Dollimore isnít from Missisipi, Chicago, Detroit, Georgia, Tenesse, or even Texas. But the haunting drive of his country blues, driven by the insistent stomp of his left foot is no less Ďauthenticí. This music is real.
Kris was born to the swampy marshes of the Medway delta, and the rural isolation of the Isle Of Sheppey on the estuary, growing up in the late 60ís and early 70ís listening to the sounds of the British blues revival. Clapton, Beck, Page, and Richards, and so back to Muddy, John Lee and the ever present figure of Robert Johnson. A professional musician his whole adult life, Krisís career used to be one of sideman. As a session guitarist, a gun for hire, he saw the world standing alongside musicians as diverse as del Amitri, The Godfathers, Eileen Rose, The Dammed and even Adam Ant. But you can only play for others so long before you have to step up and play for yourself. And thatís just what Kris has done. Combining all the music he has always loved with the abilities hard learnt on the road for so many years, he slowly evolved a self possessed repetoir. His live shows incorporate the great and the good of the past, (Charlie Patton, Bukka White, Rev. Gary Davis, etc.), together with his own evolving songwriting. Itís in him and itís got to come out!
For those who care about these things, the whole album was recorded live with very few overdubs. Mostly just Kris, in a room, with a bunch of microphones. Three tracks feature Wolf Howard, (The Buff Medwayís, The Solarflares, The Chatham Singers) on drums and percussion. No rehersal, no click track, just two guys in a room feeling their way through the music. The album also features the virtuosity of engineer Jim Riley on harp and vocal harmony. Also a spontaneous rip through one of producer Stuart Turnerís songs,The North Kent Post Industrial Blues also to feature Stuart on back up guitar and vocals. But perhaps the key song to the album is the second track, ĎBrother Rayí. A driving and insistent piece, haunted by the death of an old friend, but walking away from the past, incorporating Indian figures in the play out solo, this is the music of his surroundings.
02/01/1978 is the mark of where Kris stands now. Predominately his own material, this is his attempt to take the music he loves past where he found it. A blues record for now, and for here.