Every so often arrives the pairing of musicians which incorporates an undiscernible ingredient or quality that virtually guarantees longevity. And so its been with Doc Span & Ross Williams, much to the delight of the audiences they’ve been entertaining for years.
The Queensland Recording Association have recognised the talent of this duo and have seen fit to present them with an award for the best Blues / R’n’B album at the recent annual “Sunnie Awards” which are to honour excellence in Queensland based recording projects. “The Last Train” represents 13 tracks of acoustically presented near original (only two tracks were not solely written by Span & Williams) tunes encompassing passion, wit, sadness & joy.
Williams guitar is a pleasure to listen to, occasionally delicate and at times driven. Doc Span must be counted among Australia’s finest harmonica players with his contributions to The Last Train certainly justifying this. Williams has overdubbed some percussion & bass which fill out both the feel and sound of this album. With some playing on words the lyrical content of “Big Green Plant” makes references to partially illegal semi medicinal herbaceous matter, while “Angel In Company” touches upon all too often presented social pains which sees the previously mentioned driven acoustic guitar all bar overshadow the songs meaning.
Some political themes emerge from “No More O This” and these tunes are perfect examples of how Span & Williams have progressed beyond the perceived constraints of Blues related lyrics. This also gives lends to them an individuality of their own that is refreshing in its own right, while the instrumental “Full Steam Ahead” further demonstrates their musical prowess. “The Last Train” has come at a time when acoustic Blues is enjoying great popularity and there’s little doubt sales will benefit from this.