Both ‘Solas’ and ‘Beautiful World’ will be available as instant grat downloads with pre-orders of the album via digital stores,
which will go live on September 16th.
A decade into the band’s career, Solas marks a significant turning point for The Answer as they turned inwards to their culture, musical heritage and deep-rooted sense of ‘Irishness’. The album is a hugely varied body of work encompassing elements of their Celtic background as well as their renowned trademark guitar attack.
Opening with the dark hypnotic drum beat of the title track ‘Solas’, a brooding rock anthem that builds to a climactic release with an explosive and almost operatic choral finale, the album showcases the band’s love of Irish harmony; the combination of mandolins and Celtic choral arrangements suspend time on the harmonious ‘Thief Of Light’ while ‘In This Land’ summons an epic resolve and demonstrates an atmospheric turning point in the band’s sound.
Not turning their back on their blues-filled rock anthems, ‘Demon Driven Man’ is perfect rock’n’roll fare, but it is the epic ‘Battle Cry (Seo An La Mo Laoch Mo Ghra)’, a six-minute call to arms featuring elements of Celtic music, a Gaelic vocal chant, windswept rock and even thunderous Samba rhythms, which best epitomises the old and new of The Answer.
Having gone back to their roots and rediscovered their inner selves Solas is an honest and brave album that panders to no label, to no media framework and to no rules. It is a record that bears the scars and soul of four talented men from Northern Ireland; sometimes troubled but seeking creative liberation.
Now firmly embarked upon a new journey with a roaring fire inside, The Answer will be bringing their fierce Irish rock’n’roll to the UK this November.
Sat 12th – The Lemon Tree Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Sun 13th – The Classic Grand Glasgow, United Kingdom
Mon 14th – Corporation Sheffield, United Kingdom
Tues 15th – Riverside Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Wed 16th – Picturedrome Holmfirth, United Kingdom
Fri 18th – Diamond Live Lounge Doncaster, United Kingdom
Sat 19th – Academy 2 Birmingham, United Kingdom
Sun 20th – Concorde 2 Brighton, United Kingdom
Tue 22nd – Waterfront Norwich, United Kingdom
Wed 23rd – Electric Ballroom London, United Kingdom
The Answer Webstore: HERE
Pledge Music: HERE
Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece
Ride Or Die, is a journey full of colour and texture in the tone. With flashes of blue and twists of granite rock and country green woven into a musical tuned magic carpet. The fabric of the album is the winning and beguiling combination of Devon Allman’s triumvirate of power in equal measure Songwriting, guitar and those vocals. Adding to the fabric that creates a sound that across the whole album is full of emotional outpourings that shape each song are the superb tones and textures from his band and guests on the album. The phrasing of every instrument adds a musical emotion, there are no unnecessary layers every instrument compliments each other and are servants to the heart of the lyrics telling a powerful story.
Deep bass driven rhythms are laid down, setting the individual tone and tempo of each track is the combination of Tom Hambridge on drums and bassist Steve Duerst. They set the groove that is dynamic, exciting and certainly never static they are the warp and weft of the fabric that is Ride or Die. The fabric of the music is stretched, turned and reshaped with the addition of Saxophone, violin, and keys augmenting the message when required. Then the main pattern of this magical musical carpet, reflected in the wonderful cover design full of colour from Pepe Paras, capturing the integral heart and complexities as Devon sings the songs you want to hear again and again.
The dozen tracks all have a place on the album and add to the Ride Or Die journey, from the opening track Say Your Prayers through to the last notes of A Night Like This. Instantly recognisable as a Devon Allman melody and driving riffs that pull in the vocals that just curl around the lyrics is the opening number Say Your Prayers. The judicious us of the wah-wah pedal adds to the low down dirty howling tempo of the opening number. The beat changes as we Find Ourselves, with an underlying Latin dance vibe; this is found again later in the album with Pleasure and Pain. Demonstrating the deep links within whole roots scene of American music from the Blues to Southern Rock of influences from steamy Latin dance moves from the Rumba to the Tango.
The tempo changes with the acoustic guitar of Lost, and a country feel as Devon’s vocals speak directly to you with a simplicity of the melody line contrasting the poetic depth of the lyrics. The wah pedal is again used as an effect that says more than a thousand words the hurt and pain of this beautiful number. As Devon sings “ Your clocks are all spinning, Your compass is bleeding now, Your Maps are all burning baby, You couldn’t be more lost”. If I had to listen to just one track from the album this would be it. There is a feeling of another place and time, yet Lost is completely grounded in the now, with experiences, hurt and feeling of being lost we have all experienced.
Watch What You Say, has a foot tapping tempo where guitar and vocals are underpinned with drumming that give the lyrics a sense of purpose and momentum this is music which rocks and rolls it is emotionally poetic, this is experiences of life that is more about tears than laughs. Vancouver gives a time and place a location where we can re-set the journey. Melodic violin and Devon’s voice has a lighter tone, the lyrics though are full of yearning that the saxophone reflects. As we live a love story and how we could have done things differently if you only had a time machine.
As Ride Or Die’s musical journey only has three more stops, the acoustic is picked up again for Live From The Heart, a philosophical song ‘look to your heart look to your soul’. The keys give the track shades that make it glisten and stand out in a crowd of beautiful numbers. The reflective sound continues with Butterfly Girl, his voice deepens in a Country feel. Another song about relationships with a searing violin as Devon gives advice that is so difficult to enact. Giving people the freedom to fly while caring from them. The melody has a looseness, a freedom that allows you to fly and look down on the emotional journey the album takes you on.
An imaginative cover of The Cure’s A Night Like This closes the album, that mixes the influences of modern music, blending them into a textural tonal carpet that you want to ride on forever.
Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece, with ten of the tracks written or co-written by Devon he captures the sound that defies boundaries of genres that has the freedom to be itself. Full of strong lyrics and heartfelt melodies. This is an album that takes you on a journey full of anguish, hurt, pain and the pleasures of living life where you Ride or Die whatever your journey remember hope will be present.
Hollow Bones Album filled with Rival Sons Rock n’ Roll
Hollow Bones, Rival Sons, is another rock fuelled stop on the bands journey of development as they stride across the rock-stratosphere. This album fixes them firmly near the top the music just keeps getting better.
Jay Buchanan on vocals and the driving power of the band opens with the first part of Hollow Bones. The earworms are in the chorus, the riffs and the curdling cry of Hollow Bones. Rival Sons once again infect your conscious with fuzzed-up; fuelled up Rock n Roll that is sublime. The album was recorded in Nashville’s LCS Studio with Dave Cobb taking on production duties once again. Who can argue when he says “Rival Sons are the best rock’n’roll band on the planet”!
The music is drenched in a flow of sounds that are distilled into notes of raw emotion. The distinctive vocals of Jay Buchanan are full of fire, passion and the tonal depth of intensity, grabbing your attention and keeping your ears fixed in awe to the speaker. The music cascades and falls with a gushing complexity of textures which, when played loud, adds to a tonal journey of pure wonder and enjoyment.
Rival Sons are not a one-man outfit, guitarist Scott Holidays playing throughout the album adds tonal texture and aural interest. The fuzzy signature and the searing chords play their part in underpinning the emotion and tones of Jay’s Vocals. None of these theatricals would be possible without the rhythmic engine room of Dave Beste on bass punctuated by the stylish drumming of Michael Miley.
The weather changes with Thundering Voices the bands intro full of an underlying menace and tension. The tension wraps around the spirituality held within the vocal delivery and driven by Scot’s guitar and the driving bass line from Dave. The driving Drum and Bass shape the track Baby Boy, this is no gentle lullaby the lyrics are hard ‘Look at the Baby Boy with a gun in his hands’ sings jay as the drumming picks up the underlying message in a punctuation that is pithy and questioning. Many of the tracks are destined with time to become rock classics. Who could resist the guitar riff within Pretty Face? Combined with a mega-chorus this track must be high on the demanding shouts to be released as a single, destined to become a firm favourite with the fans.
The combination of drums, guitar, and bass-line of Fade Out gives the simplicity of the track the shape to contain the vocal power and tension held within Jay’s vocals and the lyrics. This is a stunning track play it loud and often and it will blow audiences away every time it is performed live with its shades of blues merging in with the driving rock. The tempo picks up for caffeine fuelled riffs of Black Coffee, with its bluesy licks from Scott’s guitar. This Humble Pie number is given the Rival treatment included in the album having first been released for 2015 Record Store. The 1973 track fits neatly into the hollow of the bones within their latest album.
This studio album has a rawness a sense of the unknown around the corner that you get with live music they are taking you on a musical ride that leaves you invigorated, drained and wanting more. They create this feeling of giving you an encore by placing Hollow Bones Pt 2. as the penultimate track. Pt2; picks up the beat with plaintive Jay making the lyrics work and our bones feel hollow as primeval chanting picks up the pace. This is epic. Left exhausted, thrilled and hyper all at the same time like a show you want more. So they do with the last track All That I Want. The tempo calms, the electric flow dampened with a tender, breath-taking number. Jay’s vocals thirst-quenchingly beautiful as he sings “hope it pleases you” Oh yes this pleases me immensely as it leaves me with tears in my eyes. Only an ice-queen or King could remain unmoved! Jay’s vocals. Acoustic guitar and the haunting power of strings as the album closes. Hollow Bones is an album that has nothing hollow about it. Filled with lyricism, music and a feeling of wondrous enjoyment that only perfect rock ‘n’ roll can deliver.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Hoka is an epic Journey from Nahko and Medicine for The People. The album is complex diverse full of intrigue and interest it is an eighteen track epic musical voyage of discovery combining rock, pop, world music and spiritual chants. It is not surprising that Hoka has a feeling of a voyage of discovery and journey of finding self in a complex world since Nahko’s back story explains this spiritual wandering, the incessant searching for texture to the beat on many of the tracks. He was adopted by a white middle-class American couple as a baby, learning the piano and always respecting music. Then disillusionment set in, captivated by vagabond life and the story-telling tradition of Americana musicians he left home in search of adventure and self-discovery. He had in his arsenal stories, guitar, determination and a gritty desire to bridge the cultural gaps dividing his own psyche. The track All Can Be Done encapsulates the drive with horns, dancing carnival instrumental chorus and piano, an anthem for shaping all our destinies. Via the internet he found his mother learning his true ethnicity of Puerto Rican, Native American (Apache) and Filipino descent. His self-branded ‘real talk music’ is the result of the personal journey of healing and acceptance that followed.
The video released with the album of San Quentin is the forgiving the man responsible off murdering his biological father. A surprisingly upbeat number full of positive energy and freedom of thought and letting go in the process of forgiving. Nahko ventured on the visit so he could get some closure after spending the majority of his life unravelling the truth of his childhood. With his father murdered and his mother forced into human trafficking.
Nahko’s story is immense. The album opens with the title track; Hoka. The Native American chanting and spoken vocals give the start of the journey context and shape. And as for the album title? “Hoka is a Lakota word, it is a call to action. It’s what Crazy Horse would say when he went into battle, ‘Hoka, hey!’ My call is to put action to the words that I speak and the lyrics I sing. Not just to talk, but to do.”
Then we are into a piano intro and his distinctive emotionally charged vocals with Directions and so the album journey begins. Everyone will have a track that deeply affects them, personal favourites. What the album is not is a dirge of self-pity and misery; it is finding yourself and accepting who you are. The musicianship is eclectic and at times fiery but always bedded in western tradition of music for folk with a story/purpose. Intertwined in traditional cadences is a mix of hip-hop and rock beats. Joining Nahko are Chase Makai (lead guitarist), Justin Chittams (drums), Pato (bass guitar), Max Ribner (horns) and Tim Snider (violin).
The album Hoka is full of texture and tonal interest and is medicine for the people. Stand out tracks for me are Love Letters To God with the clapping beat and horns you are drawn into the lyrics. Who can resist a track called Tus Pies, a stripped down acoustic number. Inspired by Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda. “It’s about friendship and being an anchor for someone. ‘Pies’ is the Spanish word for ‘feet.’ At the end of one of his poems, Neruda says a line I cherish: ‘I love your feet for how they walked on the mountains and through the rivers and through the valleys until they found me.’ Closing with The Wolves Have Returned a lyrical number celebrating nature, the power of nation and the need to find ones-self and tread gently as we journey across the planet.
Nahko has successfully weaved a tapestry of sound, reinforced by lyrics that have something to say. This is music for our times celebrating diversity, celebrating the planet and how we need to nurture each other and look after this fragile world and its complex relationships.
Nahko and Medicine for The People, have much to say and the journey is long, the album works as there is light and shade a musical exploration of emotions and hurts unraveled and put back together a vocal novel or film. Hako has validity giving Nahko’s life experiences and place to be heard.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
Muscle Shoals’ singer/songwriter Dylan LeBlanc returns with his third release, Cautionary Tale, which hits January 15 on Single Lock Records. LeBlanc’s first two releases were the acclaimed 2010 recordings Pauper’s Field and 2012’s Cast The Same Old Shadow. With his reflective, mournful songs that belied his age, critics previously hailed the young singer; The Guardian noted that LeBlanc was “favourably compared with Harvest-era Neil Young and country-folk breakouts Fleet Foxes.” The title track “Cautionary Tale” is available today at all digital outlets; buy it on iTunes HERE.
After the success of his first two albums, LeBlanc slipped into a blur of booze and self-doubt. At just 23-years-old, Dylan came home to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to write a new life for himself. In between the moments of clarity and a few familiar falls, he wrote Cautionary Tale: a collection of shimmering, arresting songs with the same haunting vocals that caught the attention of Lucinda Williams and Bruce Springsteen, now with a sharpened edge honed by hastened maturity.
Cautionary Tale features Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) and is produced by John Paul White (Civil Wars) and Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes). White and Tanner perform on the release as well. Tastemaker NPR affiliate KCRW has been the first supporter of LeBlanc’s new music, since highlighting the title track this summer.
About Dylan Leblanc, John Paul White notes: “I’m extremely fortunate to have been involved with this record. He’s weathered many storms, came out wiser, and we all now benefit – because this record wouldn’t exist without those trials and tribulations. It continuously rides that fine line between empowerment and despair. “
LeBlanc has been getting rave reviews on the road, at sold-out shows with George Ezra and David Ramirez in the States. UK shows to be announced soon.
As if creeping from the Southern swamps and mist-soaked cotton fields, SIMO’s “Stranger Blues” is the perfect table setter for the Nashville power trio’s vibrant new album, Let Love Show the Way released on 29 January via Provogue/Mascot Label Group . The song is a blueprint for reinvigorating the fusion of jazz improvisation, downhome blues and classic R&B, as well as these genres’ psychedelic Brit Invasion and countrified Southern-rock manifestations. The rest of the record follows suit, a souped-up vehicle transporting the band on a deeply satisfying, off-the-cuff musical journey.
Cut entirely live in full, unbroken takes—vocals and solos included—the sound is primal, sweltering and immediate. “We live and die by the take,” says singer-guitarist JD Simo. “We don’t edit, and if there are overdubs, they’re minimal. I want it to be unaffected and pure. For me, the music that always resonates most is when a performance is captured. That’s what I love, and that’s what we go for.”
The first album ever recorded at Macon, Ga.’s Big House—the communal home of the Allman Brothers Band during their late ‘60s/early ‘70s heyday—Let Love Show the Way finds SIMO not just reveling in the hallowed space’s unique mojo and history, but taking it to a fresh and inspired place. As a musical unit, Simo, his longtime drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Elad Shapiro have an undeniable chemistry, taken to even greater heights with JD playing Duane Allman’s 1957 gold-top Les Paul for every track on the record. This is the same six-string heard on the first two Allman Brothers LPs, the same storied guitar that delivered the unforgettable riff on Derek & the Dominoes’ “Layla.” JD is now part of an elite group of artists—including Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Wilco’s Nels Cline—who share the rare honor of having wielded this talismanic instrument.
“There’s definitely a magical element to the recording,” Simo says of Let Love Show the Way. “The vibe of the Big House, using Duane’s guitar, plus all the touring we’d done leading up to it, all the refinement of the material on the road—it was a perfect storm.”
Let Love Show the Way was not planned—results this potent are difficult to script. In fact, when SIMO headed down to Macon, the band had an entirely different set of songs already approved for release by its label, Mascot Label Group—this last-minute trip to the Big House was merely intended to yield a pair of bonus tracks for a deluxe edition. But with engineer Nick Worley at the boards of a stripped-down mobile recording unit, the band caught fire, burning through more than a dozen tracks in less than 48 hours. Once they heard the raw and electrifying intensity of the mixes, they didn’t think twice about abandoning the original plan and rolling with what suddenly felt so right.
“As the producer of the project, I couldn’t live with myself if we didn’t use these songs,” Simo says. “I just felt it was better than anything the band had ever captured—so we decided to scrap the original record and build this new one around everything we recorded at the Big House.”
This choice to record at this historic location is a nod to JD’s lifelong reverence and respect for the musical pioneers who have come before him. When he was just three years old, seeing The Blues Brothers and Elvis Presley’s ’68 comeback special changed his life. “I was transfixed,” he says. “With The Blues Brothers, you’ve got John Lee Hooker with Muddy Waters’ band, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, Chaka Khan right after she made one of my favorite records of all time with Rufus, Rags to Riches. Not to mention some of the greatest rhythm & blues musicians to ever walk the planet—Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy from Chess, that incredible original horn section from Saturday Night Live, Willie Hall from Stax, who played with Isaac Hayes. I mean, it’s a comedy and it’s funny, but as far as exposure to some really heavy music—I wanted to be Steve Cropper, I wanted to be John Lee Hooker. And it was the same with the Elvis special—he’s in the black leather suit, still good looking and charming and singing his ass off. Seeing The Blues Brothers and that Elvis comeback special made me want to play music.”
While Simo is comfortable with his role as a bandleader, he’s never wanted to be a solo artist. “A band is something very unique and special,” he says. “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Adam is one of my best friends. He and I have been through the whole scope of the journey so far together. And now, with Elad—who has taken the band to a new level—we truly are a team. We’re brothers.”
It’s a sentiment that’s reflected in the band’s egalitarian/improvisational approach to songwriting, even in the way SIMO sets up for shows—in a straight line across the stage, with no member given more weight than any other. “I can’t emphasize enough how much I love these guys and what they bring to our sound,” JD says.” Adam is an absolutely immaculate improviser. He’s completely free and technically the best musician in the band. I’ve done hundreds of shows with him, and I still don’t know what he’s gonna do or where he’s gonna take things—it’s inspiring. And Elad, he completes my musical thoughts. He is full of passion and enthusiasm and authenticity. He has absolutely no filter, both socially—which is hilarious—and musically, which is always incredible. In many ways, he’s the heart and soul of the band.”
Together, they’re an adventurous rock & roll trinity, a thriving creative partnership completed by JD’s combustible guitar playing and soulful vocals, and Let Love Show the Way is a game-changing album from a band in the midst of an evolutionary breakthrough. “I’m a stranger here,” JD belts on the record’s opening salvo, all mysterious swagger and smoky, downhome grit. But for a band with such with such memorable songs, uncommon rapport and awe-inspiring musicality, SIMO can take solace in knowing the line won’t hold true much longer.
JD Simo – vocals/guitar
Adam Abrashoff – Drums
Elad Shapiro – Bass
Saturday 21st November – Forum, London supporting Walter Trout
Monday 23rd November – St Moritz, London
Listen – Pre Order – Book Tickets as simple as 1-2-3!
BATTLE SCARS TRACK LIST
Tomorrow Seems So Far Away
Please Take Me Home
Haunted By The Night
My Ship Came In
Cold, Cold Ground
Gonna Live Again
The energy that zings off the guitar is spellbinding, joyful, the vocal power is compelling, Battle Scars dozen original songs that narrate his hard-won, life-or-death struggle waiting for, and ultimately receiving, a life-saving liver transplant.
“I’m thrilled about this album, about my life and about my music” says Trout, who returned to the stage in June at the prestigious Lead Belly Festival in London’s Royal Albert Hall, where he received 3 standing ovations. “I feel that I’m reborn as a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist and a human being. I have a new chance at being the best musician and the best man that I can be. And I’m incredibly happy and grateful.”
Contrast that to early 2014, when Trout was lying in a hospital bed without the strength to move or speak, unable to recognize his own children, as he observed his body waste away. He had lost 13 pints of blood and was in a coma for three days. But on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, Trout underwent liver transplant surgery and the slow process of healing began. “At first I wasn’t strong enough to play a single note on the guitar, but as I regained my strength, the music came back to me. Now when I pick up the guitar, it is liberating, joyful, and limitless. I feel like I’m 17 again.”
One of the reasons Walter is still here and is now fit and healthy is through the overwhelming generosity of his fans and supporters which included a fan-organised YouCaring campaign which was set up by Kirby Bryant, the wife of British blues guitarist and Trout protégée Danny Bryant and this alongside various concert tributes raised $245,000 towards his healthcare. “I don’t take this lightly,” Trout declares. “Marie says that all of the people who donated to our fundraiser for my medical expenses” — which generated more than $245,000 – “bought stock in me and my liver. When I play for them now, I have a responsibility to give back and offer the very best that I have.”
Just prior to his illness, Provogue records was poised for a major “Year of the Trout” marketing campaign and worldwide tour celebrating his 25 years as a solo artist. The label released Trout’s then newly recorded album, ‘When the Blues Came Calling’, and reissued his catalog on 180-gram vinyl. Additionally, Provogue published his autobiography penned with British music journalist, Henry Yates: Rescued From Reality: The Life and Times of Walter Trout.
“Unfortunately, that tour didn’t happen,” Trout says. “Instead I had to cancel an entire year of touring. That’s what the song on Battle Scars, ‘My Ship Came In’ is about: My ship came in and I missed it! I’d waited all my life for a record label to get behind me to that extent, and then that plan fell apart.” But he is back touring and a new album Battle Scar available to pre-order HERE
Trout is now moving triumphantly forward in his 50th year as a guitarist. He is in the midst of a global tour with his band: keyboardist Sammy Avila, drummer Michael Leasure, and new bassist Johnny Griparic, who joined in time to record Battle Scars in Los Angeles’ Kingsize Soundlabs with Trout’s longtime producer Eric Corne.
This second album confirms that Danni Nicholls has a voice that roots her in the category of singer/songwriter, writing lyrics with narrative, melodies that get the feet tapping and vocals that are as sweet as golden sunshine drenched mornings. Her relaxed, laid back, intuitive style creates an emotional journey that wraps you up in a comfort blanket of the song and yes she can genuinely be described as Americana; her music is a mix of country, blues and troubadour roots music that originates on the USA side of the Atlantic. This influence of Nashville whispers through every track which is not surprising as the musicians on the album are full of the cream of Nashville, full of class and using their skills to ensure the centerpiece is Danni’s sparkling voice she is a Nashville Nightingale there is crisp originality there is no Mockingbird in sight.
Mockingbird Lane is a dozen songs that sing to you opening with Long Road Home from the first note you know listening to the album will be a pleasure that you will want to keep repeating. With a counting in Leaving Tennessee begins and the vocals are deep with emotional meaning when leaving going travelling to escape the voice swells and hangs on the air with gentle acoustic guitar.
Drenched in emotion, the voice sears through the music and engages deep within your musical radar Feel Again is a track that shows maturity and vocal control that swirls around and explores the meaning of the lyrics reminding me of Amy Wadge. Whilst on Back To Memphis the phrasing and vocal tone and depth is pure Lisa Mills and the soulfulness and driving percussion of Between Forever and Goodbye ups the tempo and contrasting with the crooning style of Look Up At The Moon. Closing this stunning album with a country beat Travellin’ Man is upbeat and leaves you with a lightness of spirit and just have to listen again.
There is no surprise that with her vocal range she will always be compared with Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Riatt she is her own person with a British branding of pure Americana and is a bright star in the constellation of British Singer/Songwriters.
Mockingbird Lane is an album artfully produced so that it has a live sound that is fresh and slightly unfinished, this lack of studio burnishing leaves the music charmed with a natural purity Danni definitely touches your emotional soul this album is destined to get her name out far and wide. Mockingbird Lane resonates with every broken heart and connects to those times when life is tough and emotionally challenging while at the same time the beat is uplifting and brings a wry smile to the broken hearted.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Long Road Home
2. Let Somebody Love You
3. Leaving Tennessee
4. Feel Again
5. Look Up At The Moon
6. Where The Blue Train Goes
7. Beautifully Broken
8. Back To Memphis
9. Between Forever and Goodbye
10. Sad Swan
11. Travellin’ Man
Moochee Records/Plastic Head Distribution
Released Date 6th November 2015
What will be noticed are the opening chords of Mark’s guitar and vocals with a harder edge rock, he has laid down the gauntlet with the opening track Outside Inside, the squeal of the guitar in the controlled lead breaks full of shape and texture defines his second album building on the achievements of Days Of Destiny. Mark is double trouble piling on the surprise with guitar work that is blisteringly good and vocals that ensure the group is a powerhouse of sound. His support is a rhythm section that smoulders and burns depending on the style Mark has set the team Alun Walters on bass and Dafydd Davies on drums and Ayesha Pontin on keyboards and vocals.
This is an album brimming with determination and confidences as the chords form and the rest of the band pick them up so that Textures appear sweet, and rough, smooth and complex your musical attention is never lost, with every listen there is something new to catch you attention but every time it is the lead breaks from the scorching six-strings that is Mark’s guitar that totally mesmerise and delight. Then the tempo alters with the blending of harmonies that are like a gentle sea breeze that stirs up golden smiles on Change demonstrating only two tracks in that Mark is never boxed into a tight corner musically. His layering is artful layers of sounds with shading that allows for subtlety, space and the rip roar of power rock into a single track Three Days is just compelling listening. The whole album is a vehicle for his adroit approach to music from song writing that never over complicates but ensures the narrative compliments the music being delivered, this ability to hone the music so that it leaves space is a rare ability in the desire often to add an extra chord, play faster be ever more complicated. Mark Pontin Band demonstrates that the melding of rock blues and jazz can be done with a light touch that entertains the listening ear. The guitar opening of Rising Before the Dawn is dull of promise of a controlled bluesy number and the journey of textures continues as he delivers another cracking track. Half-way through an aptly named instrumental In The middle the tonal cadences once again take a new journey with a progressive number that has guitar and drums interacting with a beat that drives the album musically on as we see another aspect of the talent that is the Mark Pontin Band. The second half of the album continues to build on the sounds explored with a sting blues number Good Stuff and a reminder of the smooth qualities of his vocals. This is an album that explores the power of vocals and guitars and there is a shape and purpose to the journey the various tones and musical styles with the acoustic instrumental Going Home completing the musical journey and the Textures and emotions all make perfect sense as the music says it all.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Outside Inside
3. Three Days
4. Rising Up Before Dawn
6. In The Middle
7. The Sea
9. Good Stuff
10. Three Wishes Part 1
11. Three Wishes Part 2
12. Going Home
European album release November 13 2015
Edgar Winter is back touring Europe for the first time since 2011 and releasing his new album Rebel Road in Europe on 13th November.
‘Rebel Road’ is Winter’s 10th solo album and features 11 new tracks. The inspiration for the concept came from playing biker shows, such as the Easy Rider tour and Jay Leno’s Love Ride. The free spirited nature of biker life is a fitting metaphor for his musical approach, having been on the cutting edge of Rock, Blues, Jazz and Pop for decades.
“To me, the idea of the open road is a symbol of freedom, and freedom is what music is all about. It’s about living life on your own terms, and that’s what rebel road means to me. It’s not only a biker song; it’s my song and my story as well.” – Edgar Winter
Edgar was able to call upon an all-star cast throughout the recording process. Guns N’ Roses’ icon Slash features on the title track with lead and solo guitar work. One of Country music’s biggest stars Clint Black plays a mean harmonica for ‘The Power Of Positive Drinkin’’ and ‘On The Horns Of A Dilemma’. Edgar’s late brother Johnny Winter lays down guitars on ‘Rockin’ The Blues’, an experience which was special for Edgar, “I closed my eyes and it took me back to when we were kids”.
1. “Rebel Road” (w/ Slash) – 4:12
2. “Eye on You” – 3:49
3. “The Power of Positive Drinkin” (w/ Clint Black)– 3:47
4. “Freedom” – 3:57
5. “Rockin’ the Blues” (w/ Johnny Winter) – 5:01
6. “The Closer I Get” – 4:39
7. “I’d Do it Again” – 4:31
8. “Texas Tornado” – 4:50
9. “Peace and Love” – 4:47
10. “On the Horns of a Dilemma” (w/ Clint Black) – 3:13
11. “Oh No No” – 3:40
European Tour Dates:
Sun 15 Nov 2015 Sweden – Stockholm, Medis Tickster
Mon 16 Nov 2015 Sweden – Gothenburg, Sticky Fingers Biljettforum
Wed 18 Nov 2015 Denmark – Copenhagen, Amager Bio Billetnet