George Washingmachine is best known for mainstreaming his crooning voice and cruising violin into the plump vein of jazz. Long before establishing that career, however, he used to love going bananas on an electric guitar, and it’s to this he returns on Blues Rinse, while hollering out the vocals. In fact his singing is at its most convincing when at its most urgent, as if commanding the listener to pay some bloody attention. George’s own guitar playing is joined by that of Glenn Hanna on the first half and Ray Beadle on the second (with the latter lighting up Otish Rush’s Three Times a Fool), and solo after pithy solo has more stings than a beehive.
Half the pieces were penned by George (including the funky 5/4 of Gimme Five), and they mostly slot right in among classics by Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters and Magic Sam. Rick Mellick’s piano and organ ensure you don’t get guitar-overload, while Andrew Richardson’s bass and Buzz Bidstrup’s drums keep the grooves rolling and buoyant, rather than retreating into a more grinding, blues-rock idiom. A special mention must go to the sound on the vinyl version: it’s as warm as a pub on a winter’s night, and should be your first choice.