Houngan is the eagerly awaited follow-up to The Stumble's previous, highly acclaimed album, The World Is Tough. It comprises 13 tracks, 11 of which are written by the band, with drummer Boyd Tonner contributing solely or jointly to ten of them.
The album opens with the bouncing Elmore-James-style shuffle, 'Its A Lie', followed by the fast-moving 'Bus Stop' and the Latin-rhythmed 'Heart Stopped Working'. The slower-paced 'Flesh And Bone' is embellished by a lovely guitar solo from Colin Black, while the superb title track boasts an insistent boogie beat and features a cracking sax solo from Simon Anthony. The upbeat rocker 'Maudie' and the universally loved 'Nobody's Business' showcase Paul Melville's magnificent vocal prowess, while 'Your Love For Me' demonstrates Jonny Spencer's mastery of slide guitar and the high calibre of Boyd on drums and Dave Heath on bass guitar.
'Georgia Sun' sets a rattling pace before the excellent medium-paced shuffle 'Kind O' Girl' settles the tempo down and sees Simon on baritone sax while Colin delivers a marvellous harp solo. 'Headshot' raises the pace again with Jonny on lead guitar and 'Sugar Don't Taste So Sweet' combines a predominantly Latin-rhythm with a driving middle eight before Howlin' Wolf' 'Meet Me At The Bottom' brings the wonderful concoction to a vibrant climax.
The Stumble is now rightly recognised throughout the UK as a band of the highest quality and this excellent album underlines the validity of that appraisal definitely one for the collection. Rating: 9