Last year a surprisingly uncharacteristic album came from Lydia Lunch. She and her collaborator, guitarist Cypress Grove recorded a mighty fine, moody, rock’n'roll album called appropriately A Fistful of Desert Blues. Rarely does a record title fit the sound so well. It’s a western desert blues record that can stand next to any Gun Club record and live up to it.
In fact there is a song by Jeffrey Lee Pierce on it called St. Mark’s Place. Cypress Grove had an earlier collaboration with Pierce on the Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee record in 1992. Although, Lydia’s and Cypress’ version of St. Mark’s Place is well known from the We Are Only Riders tribute to Pierce, it serves well on the Fistful of Desert Blues album to remind us where the whole thing originated from.
While We Are Only Riders is a wonderful album, it maybe lacks some focus with so many musicians trying to find their way to express their admiration for Jefferey Lee’s work, A Fistful of Blues overcomes that problem easily by delivering plenty of originals. And there’s a cool variety to keep your attention. From dark and moody ramble of the opener Sandpit to the rocking Jericho.
Another cool cover worth mentioning is Mark Lanegan’s Revolver which fits perfectly as one of the focal points of this album. Cool reinterpretation of Van Morrison’s TB Sheets with Walter Daniels on harp makes a wonderful closer and makes you moan for more.