Soul blues singer, guitarist and successful Detroit export Marcus Malone and British blues guitar slinger Innes Sibun have ploughed an impressive furrow for themselves as solo artists with some nineteen albums between them.
There’s also Innes Sibun’s role playing foil to Robert Plant in 1993 and, more recently, as the six-string high energy Yin to Sari Schorr’s operatic blues vocal Yang in her original band, The Engine Room.
But, after a chance meeting at a show and on a clearly simpatico path, the pair decided to join forces in early 2018 as the Malone Sibun Band.
They then undertook a host of well received gigs in the UK and parts of Europe before heading to the studio to record their debut album.
On Come Together the impressive pairing of Messrs Malone & Sibun are have put together an equally impressive band.
Marcus Malone Band drummer Chris Nugent keeps a solid and muscly beat throughout while keyboardist Stevie Watts (Danny Bryant, Stevie Watts Organ Trio) and six-string bassist Roger Innis (John Verity, Blues Caravan) are respected staples of the British blues rock circuit.
The collective chemistry of the unit is evident from the title track get-go.
‘Come Together’ is a funky and gritty blues rocker with vocal intro and outro, a distinctly Lenny Kravitz groove and Marcus Malone’s vocal and Innes Sibun’s guitar front and centre.
Lyrically the song is a cry for global unification in a worried and war-torn world; it also gives a nod to ‘I Am The Walrus’ through its “I am You – You are Me – We Can Come Together” tag line and re-imagines a couple of ‘Swing Low’ lines (“I looked over Jordan, what did I see… a war machine a comin’ after me”).
‘Come Together’ is one of three Malone Sibun co-writes on the album, the others being honky-tonk country rocker ‘Jodie’ (Chris Nugent giving it plenty on the kit) and album closer ‘Everyday’s a Miracle.’
The latter, a radio friendly gospel-soul pop blues, features Moz Gamble on keys, backing vocals from Chantelle Duncan (who features on many of the numbers) and a breezy solo from Innes Sibun.
There are also a couple of great fit re-workings from the pair’s back catalogue, namely ‘A Taste of Your Love’ and ‘So Tired of Living.’
‘A Taste of Your Love’ (from Marcus Malone’s excellent Hurricane album of 2007) carries a country meets Zeppelin 70s vibe on the acoustic guitar (from Massimiliano Guidi) and mandolin introduction before becoming a Free spirited rock blues (there’s a touch of the Rodgers and Kossoff in Malone and Sibun here); the song then culminates on a chorus of gospel-soul vocals.
‘So Tired of Living’ (written by Innes Sibun for his 2005 album Farmhouse Blues) is the album’s slow blues moment.
With Innes Sibun playing superbly off of Marcus Malone’s throaty but soulful blues vocal (delivering a relatively restrained but perfectly complementary solo before becoming fully unleashed on the outro) ‘So Tired of Living’ has gained a new lease of minor blues life in the voice and hands of Malone and Sibun.
Other Come Together highlights include the mid-tempo Texas blues boogie of ‘Lovelight’ (delivering fast fingered fretwork, a big hook chorus and cute key change), the Curtis Mayfield meets Robert Cray styled soul blues of ‘I Want You Back’ and the lyrically soul-selling, southern-styled slide guitar rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Rabbit Hole.’
When the Malone Sibun Band first hit the stage they were tagged as one of the best new acts on the blues/ blues rock circuit.
With Come Together they haven’t just reinforced that credential, they’ve delivered what is already a contender for blues rock album of the coming year.
Come Together will be released on the 31st of January 2020 on Redline Music.