Brian Fraser’s fourth album Passing The Time heralds a new band and a new sound. Fraser’s trio incorporates harmonica, percussion, lap slide guitar and didgeridoo. The result is his best work to date.
The Brian Fraser Trio weave their music around ancient tribal rhythms. The album finds Geelong-based Fraser moving away from his traditional fingerpicking technique to embrace the slide steel guitar, his style suggesting that of 1920s Bluesman Blind Willie Johnson.
Mick Reid, on harmonica and backing vocals, hails from Boston, USA and has 20 years of blues harmonica experience behind him. Benny Owen, on percussion, didgeridoo and backing vocals, has previously toured with Blues legend Matt Corcoran and has performed with Ash Grunwald.
“The addition of lap slide guitar, percussion, harmonica and three vocalists has added a depth to my music that’s exceeded my expectations,” says Fraser. “It’s rare to find musicians who complement my music so well. Benny is simply ferocious on percussion and Mick’s playing creates a haunting atmosphere,” says Fraser.
Passing The Time is drenched in dark, pensive tones absent in his previous work. A rendition of Bobby Blue Bland’s Ain’t No Love laments a cold and brutal world. Back Up Against The Wall paints a portrait of a life going nowhere. Fraser’s version of Blind Willie Johnson’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine is a tense glimpse at religious paranoia. The Cap Fits and Bo Diddley’s Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover injects the album with buoyant pearls of wisdom. The album’s finale, No one’s Coming Home, is a cathartic release of nervous tension.
Finger Pickin’ Blues was recorded in Melbourne in February 2003 and includes 13 original tracks plus 3 popular covers from the live show. The CD was produced by John Durr and is available through Black Market Music.
Brian’s first CD ‘Don’t Ask Me’, won Blues Album of the Year at the Goulburn Blues Music Awards in 2000. It features many of Brian’s most popular songs, including originals like the title track, ‘Bluestone Bar’, ‘The River Ran Red’, and covers including ‘Minnie the Moocher’, ‘Jersey Girl’ and’Atlanta Moan’.
Brian’s second CD, ‘Sitting on the Corner’, was released in December 2000, and was a finalist in the 2002 Goulburn Blues Music Awards in the categories of Best Album, and Best Song. It features tracks such as ‘Sitting On The Corner’, ‘Waltzing Matilda’, ‘The Old Port Road’, and ‘Gospel in the Park’, as well as a brilliant cover of Nick Cave’s ‘Into My Arms’.