Dave Brewer plays guitar with rare flair, taste and finesse. His soloing, especially on a slow blues, used to light up Sydney’s music scene. He moved to Perth some years ago, but still graces his old fans with the odd visit, and meanwhile we can enjoy his recorded music.
What sets Brewer’s playing apart amid the dense ranks of blues guitarists is its lyricism. Rather than just stringing together licks he is a genuinely melodic improviser with a light touch, shrewd dynamics, a singer’s sense of phrasing and a hell of a sound pouring from that Stratocaster.
Brewer has penned songs that generally fall in a zone of overlapping of blues, soul, pop and rock popularised by Robert Cray. Standing out is the restrained and slippery I Won’t Ever Let You Down, an instant classic of the idiom that suits his voice and features a gorgeous guitar solo rippling over the classy rhythm section of Wayne Freer (acoustic bass on this one; otherwise electric) and Ric Eastman (drums).
Sometimes the convergence of songs that unfold fairly predictably with the lack of contrasting colours in Brewer’s voice can pull the project back a rung or two, but never for long. The fine cast of players is completed by Clayton Doley (Hammond B3), Natalie Gillespie (backing vocals), Lucky Oceans (pedal steel) and Dave Billing (harmonica).