Bygones will make you Smile thanks to Amy & Pete
If you think Bygones are yesterday’s newspapers to wrap your chips, then think again Bygones captured by Grammy Award winner Amy Wadge and long-time musical partner Pete Riley have redefined the word. Every song written by this stunning partnership has an emotional backdrop, the song-writing selects and captures the words and phrases so that life is held within the art of a 4 minute song. Picking up where Afterglow finished the artwork in shades of blues and green reflecting the tone of Bygones.
Amy and Pete are a duo who meld into a single entity. The warmth of the musical relationship, mutual understanding, friendship and the experiences of touring all blend and weave together creating the sound that is distinctively Wadge and Riley. The instrumentation strengthens the narrative of the song, the choice of guitar, piano, lap steel, mandolin or bass are the river of melody that the songs swim effortlessly through.
Opening with Bright As The Star with Pete on guitar and harmonies that curl around like the warming smoke of a log fire. The words are batted back and forth and the interactions of a relationship are explored. This is a musical partnership that fits together like a hand in a warm glove. The shortest track Little Problem, has Amy singing what we all have struggled with as ‘we don’t talk about it anymore’. The relationship is cracking and the sadness is sweet and the little problem just will not hide so have to confront them. Amy sings with emotional sadness, strong with an air of vulnerability with the soft harmonies as Pete and her voices meld. I can never resist a track with shoe in the title so Odd Shoes had to have a mention. The guitar has a strong tone and Pete sings about a boy in the photograph. This is luscious emotional chords stripped back to the bare necessities that make the song personal and up-close. Bygones is about finding what life is really about through different stages of relationships. The tempo picks up with a tipping of their hats to country a full sound that is toe-tapping and makes you smile. I Believe is Amy and Pete enjoying a moment in the sun of the harmonies they create. Revisiting the wonderful track from Amy’s previous album, No Sudden Moves. It is a song that leaves you with a tear in your eye, Amy sings with the grief and hurt that leaves you Shattered, and the addition of Pete’s vocals rejuvenates a song that encapsulates the wondering of why people build you up, let you down and leave you shattered. This is Amy Wadge’s songwriting glory captured again and leaves you emotionally drained as the longest track fades away. The use of Pete’s vocals on Undertow balances the fervently charged Shattered. The mood lightens the Hammond adds a layer and lap steel adds its distinctive tonal textures. Then the album fades with the title track, Amy on piano and her signature vocal tone this is a moment where she shares her soul with you. Pete’s guitar is texturally sharp and reflects the harder edge of Amy’s vocals and we are left letting Bygones be Bygones.
Bygones, twelve acoustic treasures, tempos change, influences are gathered in whilst the consistency is the power of words shaped by melodies that cajole and temper your spirit.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Bright As The Stars
2. Stay With Me Tonight
3. Little Problem
4. Odd Shoes
5. Shooting Stars
6. Leaving Now
7. Tip Toes
8. I Believe
9. Troubled Man