Album Review: Mark Porkchop Holder

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Mark Porkchop Holder

Let It Slide - Alive Naturalsound Records

Guitarist, singer, harmonica player and songwriter Mark Porkchop Holder is a founding member of the seminal Tennessee punk rock blues band The Black Diamond Heavies, now he is stepping out on his own and will be releasing his debut solo album, Let It Slide, on the 10th February on all formats via Alive Naturalsound Records. Mark Porchop Holder delivers a heady dose of traditional blues that is refracted though a lens of garage and rock influences, that is delivered with a punk sneer. Let It Slide forms part of the worldwide resurgence of blues music, this movement is one that acknowledges it’s roots, but drags blues kicking and screaming into the modern age.

Let It Slide kicks off with the title track, this brief excerpt of traditional slide guitar fades into Disappearing, an upbeat blues rocker that opens the album in fine style, My Black Name ups the pace and brings a fuzzy mix of swamp rock, slide guitar and garage to Let It Slide. From here on in it’s a road trip through a blues hinterland, Headlights is a tale of late night empty roads under big skies that eases into the more traditional blues of 38, a track that indicates that Mark Porkchop Holder has 61 less problems than Jay Z. The title track reprises with some down and dirty primitive roadhouse blues and Stagger Lee takes the album into a darker more distorted place whilst Stranger leads you out into the desert with a discordant country twang. Let It Slide ends with a rip roaring reworking of Baby Please Don’t Go, a version that differs from the traditional and rock reworkings by boasting a fuzzier heavier vibe than any other version that I’ve heard of this blues standard.

Let It Slide reminds me of The Rolling Stones in places, but back in the mists of time when they were in their blues inspired prime, there are also elements of the pub rock scene that was a precursor to punk, alongside some impressive slabs of blues that veer towards the traditional. This is a blues album at it’s core, but it’s one that incorporates contemporary influences to make this an impressive solo release, if you have any love for the modern grass roots blues acts such as Bones Shake and The Glass Phantoms, or the better known works that have resulted from Jon Spencer and Jack White‘s numerous outings, then Let It Slide is an album that you need in your life.

Let It Slide can be pre-ordered on limited edition vinyl, CD and digital formats here