Track Review

Track Review: Devil On My Shoulder (2021 Mix) // Heavy Mama

I’m sure I read somewhere that music is ageless. It does not adhere to the abstract concepts of time, space or context, but is glorious from the first moment it hits a person’s ears…this is the case in Heavy Mama’s single ‘Devil On My Shoulder’. Originally recorded back in 2009, the single incorporates the essence of the three-piece blues-rock band. It makes sense that they would “celebrate the band” with a 2021 remix.

Alright, I may be getting a little ahead of myself considering you might not know who or what Heavy Mama is…here’s a quick intro. Hailing from Scotland, Robbie Hill (guitar and vocals), Steven Adamson (bass) and Stephen Kirk Macleod (drums) combine their music skills to form a 70s rock-inspired sound. Formed in 2005 when the lads were studying at Perth College, the group made a name for themselves touring relentlessly before disbanding in 2009. Now, Heavy Mama is reaching new audiences with features on The Other Side Reviews, Blues Matters Magazine, Amazing Radio and several playlists. Come with us as we delve into their psychedelic sound.

Originally recorded in 2009 at SAE Studios, ‘Devil On My Shoulder (2021 Remix)’ is Steven Adamson’s ode to Heavy Mama. Created using the demo version of ‘Devil On My Shoulder’, the 2021 Remix is crisper and clearer than the heavy original. Yet, this does not mean there isn’t a “heaviness” to this remix. Retaining the powerful classic rock tones, the new single is a merging of Cream and Jimi Hendrix.

Showcasing the individuality of each element and artist, ‘Devil On My Shoulder’ combines three prominent instruments into a complementary whole. Highly reminiscent of Cream, I am immediately reminded of Eric Clapton when hearing Robbie’s guitar solos. The warm vocals effortlessly add to the kaleidoscopic soundscape plunging you into a whirlpool of blues-rock.

“Heavy Mama started playing together 15 years ago and I wanted to do something special to celebrate when you could play gigs with your friends and be creative…remixing this song became my little lockdown project for a few weeks. We all felt this was the perfect track to release to celebrate the band, no matter how long it took to get there.” – Steven Adamson on ‘Devil On My Shoulder (2021 Remix)’

Capturing the essence of old-school blues-rock, the lads drag the sound of 70s rock to the 21st Century. Yes, this might be an older track but the oldies are often the goodies. Steven notes that he would “love to get Heavy Mama back in the studio and do some more recordings” and I would love to hear that. For now, however, I must be contented with the demos and remixes from the blues-rock revivalists.

Side note: Heavy Mama released a rather psychedelic video for ‘Devil On My Shoulder’. Watch it here.

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