John O¹Leary Band
Review by Nick Dalton

Maverick Magazine June 2005 iSSUE 35

Rootsy blues with a modern sheen served up by talented harmonica man 

Harp player John O¹Leary has wailed with the best of them, not least Savoy Brown but here takes the lead in a collection of intelligent, rootsy blues-tinged numbers. But this far more than just a harmonica record. Firstly, O¹Leary is a not inconsiderable vocalist. And secondly he¹s teamed up with one of Britain¹s brightest blues and country guitarists, Jules Fothergill, who¹s been making a reputation for himself with London country roots rockers Roadhouse. Here he not only plays, he produces, not to mention designing the cover and taking the moody photos.
He also writes, too. The assured, growling Blue Water, a team-up with O¹Leary, also features the Joplin-like vocals of Roadhouse¹s Lorna Reilly. And Waiting For You, also featuring Reilly, is far from blues and sounds more like Roadhouse than Roadhouse. 
On Black Cat Bone O¹Leary¹s vocals initially take the lead but then give way to Fothergill¹s solo guitar and then Dominique Vantomme¹s rich keyboards before his own harp takes over.
O¹Leary¹s Move Away allows Fothergill to demonstrate his growing virtuosity as a slide player while also featuring second guitarist Tim O¹Sullivan.
Impressive in the way that Stan Webb allowed Chicken Shack to forge new ground and to hell with the blues purists. ND