Peter Shaw: Peter Shaw & The Blue 56
By Geoff Sharpe
Front and back of Peter Shawís album show him playing acoustic guitar and saxophone, while inside itís his bluesy electric guitar, along with that of multi-part playing partner Neha Gate, which dominates. An album of ever gentle, lightweight blues/folk, recorded by Gate and self-produced by the Wellington-based pair, it meanders through 14 tracks inside an hour, without seeking, or at least succeeding, to make any real impact. Some nice songs, all excellently played and with occasional equally tasteful support from guests on banjo, mandolin and violin, but as an album this really needs a statement or two to give it personality and purpose. Coming half way though, Amazing Grace may have been intended to do that, but with its drum machine backing and Shawís unemotive vocals even the saxophone solo canít rescue it. Shaw and Gate clearly know their way around the blues and the arrangements are good, so itís a pity that they didnít perhaps get a real drummer and maybe an outside producer involved.