Hamish Anderson has quite a track record for such a young artist. In addition to being the last opening act for BB King, the Melbourne native has toured the United States and is associated with acts such as Los Lobos and Blues Traveler. Trouble is his first full-length album.
As a whole, Trouble is a solid blues album. The band is fantastic, and Anderson’s guitar licks are on point. The combo’s combined sound is a gritty yet clear tribute to The Three Kings of the Blues that Anderson claims to be a student of (Freddie King, BB King, and Albert King). Really, Anderson’s guitar playing is great. He knows when to rip into the strings, and he knows when to hold back, which is surprisingly mature for such a young musician. His solos are beautifully bluesy and never feel like they go on for too long.
Another nice thing about the album is that Anderson gives the listener little tastes of different styles, mainly through the guitar. The song “Holding On” has a poppy sort of groove that provides a little break from the grit. In the same vein, “My Love” features a guitar part that is reminiscent of southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd. I found the variety refreshing.
That being said, Trouble is not a perfect record. In my opinion, Anderson’s voice lacks the soul that one needs to create a blues masterpiece. At times, I thought that his vocals had more in common with Adam Levine than BB King. In addition, the lyricism is fine, but nothing all that noteworthy.
Altogether, Hamish Anderson’s debut is a solid record that proves him to be a capable artist. Listening to The Three Kings may be a better use of your time, but listening to Trouble will certainly not be a waste of it.
Favorite Tracks: 6, 9