CD – Lucy Zirins – Chasing Clocks

Lucy Zirinscover
Chasing Clocks
Release Date 25th March 2013

“Chasing Clocks”, is the much awaited début album from the award-winning songbird from Burnley, having been recognised at The British Blues Awards ‘British Newcomer’ and Blues Matters Writers Poll , winning ‘Best Newcomer’ and runner-up in Best Solo Artist Category during 2012.

This 12-track album is fully of beautiful, thoughtful and often wistful lyrics penned by Lucy, that makes her stand out from the crowd especially when teamed up with her guitar sitting on the stage she is a complete package. The album was recorded at the famous analogue Toe Rag Studios, London. The studio has played to host to many famous acts,
including The White Stripes, who recorded multi platinum album “Elephant” there, the mellow sound created suits Lucy’s style with its inner warmth. The addition of a wide range of instruments and musicians enhance but never swap the delicate simplicity of Lucy’s voice and lyrics, you just know these songs will sound just as good when she is performing live with only her trusty guitars for company.

This album spans the full gamut if genres that nurture the solo artist, including blues, country, folk and pop, that have been skilfully blended so that it is Lucy’s talent that shines through so she cannot be pigeon-holed and constrained. Yes the album could be sent down the chute as ‘Americana‘ but the lass from Lancashire has created her own cocktail of music that is truly from the British tradition, great songs sung to a delightful melody. The tracks reflect the album title as the music takes you through the landscape of time, with ‘Separate Ways’ with the mournful, soulful opening of cellos, and then the star of the show Lucy’s voice kicks in, full of emotion of regret of love lost; and later on in the CD the theme is returned to with ‘The Last One’ with its definite country feel, in which she lays her emotions bare with the relevant use once again of time and this time she could be the one forever. Followed by songs of dreams and wishes ‘Home’ in which reflections are articulated by the words, with the tone of Lucy’s voice deeper and soulful with superb accompaniment from the phalanx of musicians used to add texture. ‘One Day Soon’ has a more bluesy feel and showcases the guitar and vocal skills of Lucy and reminds me of the stage act we have come to love from this talented young lady; and those of heartbreak and separation ‘Tearing Me Down’, ‘Hours to Waste’; and then the lullaby a simple tune that is soothing to the soul and then ‘Goodnight’ written about musicians that die too young and the CD ends. You then just repeat it all again as this is an accomplished début CD from what must be a raising star that will shine bright as her songs are heard from stages and music stations across the land. Michael Messer producer and mentor must be very proud of the album and Lucy with this album though not traditional blues but it is definitely a classic album of great recording, songs and melodies with a modern twist on roots based music.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of
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Navacross – All The way Home CD Review

Navacross All The Way Home Album Cover
Navacross – All The way Home – Hi4 Head Record (Jan 2013)

There is an inner confidence that shines through on Navacross’ second CD, this is a CD that is not tied to one style but melds and highlights a variety over the ten tracks. Navacross deploy the blues throughout with delightful grooves that hit you with a wall of sound that is fresh from the off with ‘Overload’ with its dirty guitar, slide and then the blues harp so that like the lyrics sung by Dean Baker it is a form of overload, as the chorus line states “my brain’s on overload” It is not a gentle sound that Navacross have produced this is an album that is foot stomping, with an inherent energy that makes you want to listen to more. ‘Open Your Eyes’ has a gentler tempo but it has strong lyrics that stops you from being lulled into a doze with its soothing melodies. ‘Waiting on The Line’ has a punchy British sound, with soaring harp and the drum setting a perfect rhythm , this is a self-contained number that works well by every instrument having its own space achieving that blending together of sound and then bursts as each instrument takes the lead, creating a very live almost jamming sound giving this track authentic energy. ‘Steer’ is the longest track and has a different tempo from the rest of the album more acoustic in feel, a little bit downbeat which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but perhaps when included among such jaunty tracks could have benefited from tighter editing so that it was a little bit shorter, despite this it is one of my personal favourites with some great drumming from Andy P. I love the lyrical link between the opening track and Clowns, musically the mix of slide and ukulele really work well giving the track a hint of country, ‘world is run by a bunch of clowns’ resonates with many people’s frustrations making this album relevant now and not tied into a another era whilst using lots of licks, styles and approaches from early blues, punk and other genres. What Navacross have managed to do successfully is mix them up creating their own modern sound that has depth of feeling, strong lyrics and great musicianship. The band have considered the ordering of the tracks so that there is a flow and ‘Too Much’ the penultimate track has a cheerful lively beat reflecting the chorus ‘I’m Alive’ reflecting the energy that is portrayed through this song the last track is the shortest and they leave you wanting to hear more. This is a CD worth adding to your collection and get to see them live as I am sure one of their gigs would be great fun.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of
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Killin It – Dave Migden and The Dirty Words

DM-Killing-It What a CD, a fresh, unique approach to music this is something a little bit different, that will not be contained within a genre or a mix of genres. If you like your music original with style, verve and energy this CD is for you. From the opening, loud slightly discordant note on the opening title track Killing It through to the melodic fade away on The Line this is a CD to be listened to time and time again, there is nothing boring about the music, lyrics and the production keeps a live edgy feel so the unexpected is just around the corner. This is a complete production the CD makes sense and no song is included as packaging. In an eccentric way the eclectic approach of Dave Migden and The Dirty Words, there is something funky, swampy and on the dark side about this music which is part of Dave’s heritage.  Dave, though now based in the U.K., originally hailed from Little Rock, Arkansas and much of the imagery is definitely rooted in the deep south.

There is an experimentalDavid Migden and the Dirty Words - Jaks - Skegness 2013_0020 edge to the album, reflecting the live performance with the use of a loud-hailer to reflect and give greater texture to his rich baritone voice. This is not a one man show, this is no product of a power guitar leading and other musicians in the band following, this is a true musical collaboration of a group of skillful and adventurous musicians. They are not scared to use the lyrics to state their case as showcased in D.A.W.T.P.W.M; with clever use of falsetto and the incorporation of the horns giving the track a modern twist on the ‘Big Band sound’. When listening do not always expect to understand the musical phrasing or lyrical couplets or the words but as a whole this definitely works for me. This is an album of textures light and dark, sunny and cloudy, rough and the smooth with some pieces showing restraint such as Heaven with the beautiful piano led melody. What stays in your mind though is Dave Migden’s voice that soars through the production and highlights the other instruments and develops the tempo with a voice that is definitely more Black Treacle than Golden Syrup. Listen to the album with open ears, sit back and enjoy the journey.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of
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