|22 × 16 × .50 cm
The album “Stray Hat” from blues band Hat Fitz & Itchy.
Stray Hat and Hat Man’z on hiz way! – Hat Fitz & Itchy
by Nick Charles
I’ve recently had the opportunity to listen to a couple of great Australian blues albums.
Both feature Queenslander Hat Fitz.
The first and my favourite, I have to say, is Hat Fitz’s solo acoustic release Stray Hat.
There’s a rare and soulful earthiness in this recording.
The obvious influences are the classic country blues artists of the 1920’s and 1930’s and in particular to my ear (my imagination could be at work here!) Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Boy Fuller.
The lovely sound of Hat’s Beeton resophonic and his wry vocal approach are a direct link to the roots.
A nice touch too is the fretless banjo, not so common in the blues now, but probably the primary instrument in the pre guitar era of blues.
There’s a good mix of classics such as “Staggerlee” and “Hard Time Killing Floor” and some of the quirky originals that sees the Hat man building a solid following across the land.
On Hat Man’z on hiz way, Hat is joined by regular drummer Itchy in what is I imagine, a faithful rendition of their well loved live show.
I really enjoyed the interpretation of Bukka White’s “Jitterbug Swing” and the effortless blending of classics with originals.
If you enjoy that unique sound that is the Aussie blues pioneered by the likes of the original Chain, Carson and others and the added flavour of the delta and piedmont classics you’ll love this.
Unpretentious and straight from the heart.
“If it’s steady, rollin’ blues you want then Hat Fitz, the wild man from Oz, accompanied by his drummer/washboard sidekick, was just the ticket. More than one person has compared him to the new sensation Seasick Steve and he did not disappoint, chugging away prolifically with Miss Mabel Blues in particular. Funny thoughts some¬times creep into your head and I couldn’t help wondering what these two, plus the Saltfishforty boys, would have sounded like together. Maybe an ardent clubber will know if they actually did get it together.” Review by Shetland Times
“Anyone who has seen Hat Fitz perform …. knows how the big man can stir up an audience with his wild, frantic interpretations of early Delta blues classics and self-penned songs… Fitzy would have to be Australia’s foremost purveyor of authentic pre-War Delta blues.” Review by Al Hensley, ‘Rhythms’
“My sincere compliments on the quality of the music. I listened and liked what I heard, this is music I can and do enjoy” Review by Bruce Iglauer, President, Alligator Records, Chicago, U.S.A.
1 in stock (can be backordered)