Blues Matters Magazine (UK)

Blues Matters Magazine, UK, September 26, 2014

By Colin Campbell


Presidio Records

Sid Whelan is a veteran guitarist from New York, who for many years backed singers in world music and blues in many clubs and music festivals, but for various reasons, he stopped playing gigs in 2004. The decision to get back to singing and songwriting was in part due to his niece Lora-Faye needing a guitarist to play in her band, thus culminating in setting up his band. That is the background to this release. From the first track’s slow moody notes played on exquisite slide guitar on Frisco Lines it sure sounds like he is enjoying being back in the limelight. He has a smooth and well-toned voice with a Mississippi drawl, evident on Fools Gold, this song maintains the high standard of musicianship and it flows into the best song, the title track Flood Waters Rising an emotional response to global natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. Lighten Up explains this further with more lilting vocals and sweet guitar picking. Not one to hold back on politics The List is a tin pan alley take on gun law controls a very cutting insight, good piano riff from Naido Vargas. Sitting On Top Of The World is well played and sounds an authentic early blues take. Finishing off with the self-mocking take-on, I Can’t Write Love Songs reflects an overall laid back style with sharp undertones a definitive return of a great musician.