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Swampcandy / Press

“Following fast on from a rapid run of dates around North Wales, Swampcandy, Ruben Dobbs and Joey Mitchell, found their way to our area. The 15th led to The Gardeners Arms, and a pleasant warm spring evening in the grounds of this Droitwich pub. The welcome was just as warm from the customers and music lovers filling the garden area. Swampcandy’s self penned Mississippi Delta Blues filled the air, Joey attacking his double bass with fingers, slaps and bow, as Ruben delivered his raw vocals over the resonator guitar. The audience applauded enthusiastically.”

“Then the show started. Swampcandy, a blues and Americana duo that I was not familiar with, opened. Watching them was something like finding a nugget of gold in a creek: completely unexpected and wonderful. The duo consists of Ruben Dobbs on lead vocals and guitar, playing mostly slide on a resonator guitar, and his playing showed me some of the best slide guitar I've heard since the Allman Brothers. Joey Mitchell played upright bass while simultaneously beating a bass drum with his right foot. The sound these two created was as sweet as early Muddy Waters but much more energetic. Swampcandy not only played the blues, they transformed the genre, taking one of American music's oldest forms and rendering it brand new.”

“At the opening bars of Swampcandy's The Dirty Suite I got excited. Down-dirty, bump-and-grind, moaning-and-groaning blues roots music. I'm thinking that these guys are channeling R.L. Burnside or some other departed Hill-country or Delta blues master. The ethnomusicologists will get tied in knots over this one. Is it blues or rock? Is it roots or fusion? It is very clearly blues-based but there is also an element of rock that colors most the cuts. Some of the instrumentation could be mistaken as contemporary influenced but Swampcandy (aka Ruben Dobbs) has just done his homework. He has seen the blues in all it's hues.”

Tampa Blue - Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

"Whiskey-soaked deep woods field holler for the modern age. Step up to the counter and get your Swamp Candy. It's raw & rockin'. It's dark & dirty. And you don't want it any other way. Delicious. Great record."

Willie Nile - Quote from email

"Ruben Dobbs has done a masterful job evoking the spirit of Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker on his new album, "SWAMPCANDY". You get the feeling he's been down to the crossroads. He is a man possessed"

Bob Waugh - Program Director, WRNR-FM.

"Ruben Dobbs channels raw blues power with aggressive slide guitar playing and robust vocals that bring to mind the ghosts of Son House and Leadbelly."

Cary Wolfson - "Blues From the Red Rooster Lounge"

“Swampcandy reminds me of Tom Waits: pots & pans rattling through yells and shouts, hand clapping, dobro-staccato, in a sweaty back porch-feel, voices crossing each other at random. Like a sort of chaotic happy-go-lucky bunch of guys. Don't misinterpret this: I'm all for this, lots of times it works out just fine. Like this time, it really does. The first song, 'South County', has a haunting banjo popping up like a muppet. This is not common in contemporary blues the effect is that a listener with even just a little imagination finds himself thrown smack in the middle of the Mississippi swamps. Great move! Vocal improvisation (meaning: no sheet music was distributed amongst the members of the 'choir') has a good part in this CD and it works pretty well. All in all, Swampcandy is a project that should be followed up by every blues lover: you get to witness the way the old blues tradition might have started.”

“The Dirty Suite should appeal to anyone who likes the blues. Its roots extend deep to the south, where they're firmly planted in that rich musical heritage. Swampcandy is helping to preserve the legacy of the blues with an album of authentic-sounding music from a time and place lost, but not forgotten.”

Michael Macey - Chesapeake Music Guide

“True boogie blues author: David Gilroy Seldom comes along a true blues artist that plays the good old boogie and stomp. This is one of those artists. I can't get enough of this stuff. It does the soul good! What we are author: Thomas Walkowiak the shallowness of much of todays music is about commercialism and hit status, not so with The Dirty Suite. This entire album speaks from and to an honesty that is rare. Swampcandy may never be a wide spread must listen for the masses but for those of us who need our souls and hearts touched it is a must have . Amazing author: Tom Fantastic album. Swampcandy is one of the best modern artists I have listened to in a long time. A truly inspirational, low-down album you -must- get your hands on! ”

cd baby fan reviews

“The Dirty Suite is a stomping blues album that sounds like it comes from the front porches of the deep South. The production on the record makes all the difference, artfully retaining the analog and humidity of classic blues recordings. As the recording brings us so close to the real sound of Swampcandy, so does the uncanny vocal quality of Ruben Dobbs. Armed with a baritone growl and a deep-soul wail, Dobbs blows the doors off on "Insomnia". Also as a guitarist, Dobbs slides all over the guitar with down-home hollers like "Rosie" and the downtrodden blues of "So Low". The foot stomps and hand claps confirm a rabble-rousing good ol' time from song to song. If you're new to the blues (and by blues, I mean something much more from the depths than The White Stripes), this is a great introduction.”