Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

 

The album Beautiful Dreams and the second acoustic solo album from Jamie Williams, normally part of his big band sound of Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective. Songwriting flows from Jamie’s pen and as he says; “performing and writing are my way of taming my demons and are as natural as life itself to me” The album is fourteen mellow tracks out of Essex via Nashville more country than British Folk. The album has a flow the tempo nudges up and down with the addition of Paul Hollingsworth on trumpet adding an extra dimension on many of the tracks.  As you listen to the album you are soothed into a Williams zone gentle and never shocking. The beat stays true and for me, fewer tracks with more tonal shape and variance would have turned the image of a Beautiful Dream into a reality.  Sometimes you need a bolt of lightning and a clash of thunder to give the dreams shape and a sense of reality especially on tracks like In My Times of Darkness that are looking at the darker side of life.

Opening with Spare A Thought it is asking us to think of others and introduces us to Jamie’s distinctive vocals with the trumpet piercing through adding a rawness as the theme of love of humanity is explored with the feeling of disempowerment across Britain today. A political anthem with no real anger or passion that matches the lyrics in the melody.  Love of his wife is celebrated with Love of My Life; exploring love is the essence of the album and the romance continues with the release date of 14th February.

The title track is with a guitar that stings and Naomi Poole weaving her cello as the words are at times more spoken than sung a poem of a Beautiful Dream as the lyrics are intoned matching the chords of the weeping cello.

Pulling back into the English Countryside with Bitter Is My Beer, a melancholy song definitely warm British beer not fizzy light American beer from a bottle. This is beer that you cradle as you hold your emotions in and feel a deep sadness. The album has a vulnerability summed up with Box Marked Fragile this is music that drifts and turns dipping into emotions but never resolving your angst that is left to mournful trumpet and cello strings that shiver with tears.  Jamie uses the solo album to explore a variety of styles, snatches of mariachi style trumpet and echoes of blues on Whispering Blues with its percussive backdrop.

Jamie Williams’ solo album, Beautiful Dreams floats away off a soggy cloud. The musicianship is good, but for me something is missing an injection of purpose and a shaping of a sound that is acoustic Jamie. As the last notes of We Are One, the resounding memory is for the atmospheric trumpet the words have got lost in the mix. Acoustic album works if the lyrics empower, entreat and connect and in this dream land they didn’t for me.

Jamie Williams – Beautiful Dreams 

SIXpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

 

Track Listing

  1. Spare A Thought
  2. Love Of My Love
  3. Lovely In Libson
  4. Beautiful Dream
  5. Mama
  6. Twinkle In Your Eye
  7. Bitter Is My Beer
  8. Remember
  9. Box Marked Fragile
  10. Trying To Get In Touch With Me
  11. Whispering Blues
  12. In My Times Of Darkness
  13. You Still Looked So Good To Me
  14. We Are One

Ten Doodle Paws Album Awards 2016

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music

Ten Doodle Paws Album Awards 2016

 

What a fabulous year for music at Bluesdoodles HQ. I have enjoyed listening to all the recorded music sent. Liz makes a note (must do better in 2017 and review more! I have started a new hopefully more organised system!).

Album Earning Ten Doodle Paws During 2016

One Hundred and Forty-eight reviewed. What an array of music from Folk to Metal Rock to Blues. The genre to everyone at Bluesdoodles  HQ is unimportant, that is a marketing tool it is whether the music vibes hits our collective DNA. Liz, Kevin & Othello a very discerning Bandana wearing Labradoodle.

Album of 2016

Now this was difficult almost impossible with so many contenders With Thirty-Six albums with the Ten-Doodle Paw accolade considered throughout December. what a delight to play and listen to them all again. The final choice is mine, yes it is subjective and has changed there are many that have not been mentioned that will continue to be regularly played and enjoyed in the House of Bluesdoodles

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicAlbum of  The Year 2016

Beth HartFire On The FloorMascot Label

I wrote when I reviewed in September that it was a contender for album of the year I was right. The fire in the album burns brightly from the floor to the heavens. Beth Hart,  Fire On The Floor has gathered together a dozen tracks that flow and warm up the speakers with a raw, charismatic and open delivery of intensely personal emotionally driven lyrics.  Fire On The Floor is a majestic album and will burn brightly long after 2016 fades into a memory.

 

For all the other  category Winners check them out HERE

January – March

Jeff Healey – Heal My Soul
Kyla Brox – Throw Away Your Blues
Joe Bonamassa – Blues of Desperation
Monster Truck – Sittin Heavy
Red Dirt Skinners – Behind The Wheel
Mumbo Jumbo – Sonic Gumbo
Ben Poole – Time Has Come
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – Wayward Sons
Michael Messer’s Mitra – Call of the Blues
Stevie Nimmo – Sky Won’t Fall
Big Boy Bloater & The LiMiTs – Luxury Hobo
The Temperance Movement – White Bear
Danny Bryant – Blood Money

April – June

Kaz Hawkins – Feelin Good
Dan Patlansky – Introvertigo
Giles Robson – For Those Who Need The Blues
Albany Down – The Outer Reach
Jimbo Mathus – Band of Storms
The Rides – Pierced Arrow
No Sinner – Old Habits Die Hard
Rival Sons – Hollow Bones
Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky

July – September

Honey Island Swamp Band  –  Demolition Day
Laurence Jones – Take Me High
Cadillac Three – Bury Me In My Boots
Aynsley Lister – Eyes Wide Open
Devon Allman – Ride Or Die
King King – Live
Joanne Shaw Taylor – Wild
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Sari Schorr – A Force of Nature

October – December

The Brew – Shake The Tree
Mike Simpson & Don Flemons – Ever Popular Favourites
Ian Siegal – 2wnty5ive The Collection
Jeff Healey – Holding On
Glenn Hughes – Resonate
RavenEye – Nova
Rival Sons – Hollow Bones

Twenty-Five Years Touring Ian Siegal Performs Tonight

Twenty-Five Years Touring Ian Siegal Tonight The Convent

Twenty-Five Years Touring Ian Siegal Performs Tonight

 

 

Ian Siegal 2wenty5ive Years touring reaching a Pinnacle tonight at The Convent near Stroud. Ian Siegal has been on the road for Twenty Five years, the format may change, solo, trio or the current four-piece band he delivers music that defies capturing in a box it flies with integrity, style enthralling the audience.

Twenty-Five Years Touring Ian Siegal Tonight The ConventIan Siegal tonight was on fire he was full of Siegal magic full of charismatic energy and the evil twisting of words fell from his lips like pure gold as blues melted into country and reform as Rock n Roll. The guitar of choice tonight was a Gibson. Opening the night was an old favourite guitar, his old Harmony as he opened with The Skinny the lead from  Joel Fisk was a fabulous introduction to this young guitarist who for this tour is stepping into the boots of Dusty Ciggar a difficult slot to fill. Tonight Joel more than stepped up to the mark fitting in and shaping his guitar to complement Ian’s guitar work and vocals. The rhythm section Dutch duo of bassist Danny Van’t Hoff and drummer Raphael Schwiddessen; who are the platform that lets Ian fly away with the songs that tonight he is playing all written or co-written. Celebrating twenty-five years tonight is all about the frontman Ian Siegal and he is enjoying every moment as we listen once again to new and old favourites.

The tunes came thick and fast as Better Than Myself, became I Am The Train an award-winning number that takes you on a journey with Siegal in total control of the music and the band whose timing punctuated the tone, shape and pace of the train journey. The collective power and intensity for an audience who is totally immersed in the music, the intensity deepened with every song and tonight’s version of Mortal Coil was simply immense.

The set was the most emotionally poignant set that I have ever witnessed, this was Ian exploring his own music full of Rock n Roll pizzazz that makes him entertaining live music that rolls with energetic tensions as the clever lyrics are spat out, and smoothed over. He is amusing, witty and his perspective on the world is cuttingly sharp. The guitar weeps on Mortal Coil, the shuffle is blues plus so much more he is described by many as the best of British Blues, but for me, he is a musician that plays bloody fine music. Every number was electric, Brandy Balloon saw another Joel special lead break, and the dueling of guitars on Butter Side Up was beautiful.

Twenty-Five Years Touring Ian Siegal Tonight The ConventIn true Ian Siegal live style we were taken off-piste as Hard Pressed morphed into a celebration of Prince’s Sign Of The Times flowing into The Revelator where John The Baptist became the Backdoor Man.  This was as ever clever works so fine with the immaculate timing that keeps the shape of the original number whilst exploring the other numbers. The encore was demanded and a solo version of The Fear ensued, a beautifully crafted number with lyrics that connects deep within your soul written with Kris Kristoffenson in mind and delivered by Ian with hints of country and the vocal depths of Johnny Cash. Closing with Falling On Down, the band ensured there was only one reaction not falling down with delight but standing up, the standing ovation was a first at The Convent and not the last for Ian Siegal on this tour.

With live music timing and stage presence creates the mood of the music turning live music into something very special and tonight every ingredient went into the mixing bowl and a superb night was created, one we will remember and talk about the night we heard Ian Siegal and his band at the Convent.

From his lead breaks, rhythm guitar, Ian Siegal 2wenty5ive Years touring reaching a Pinnacle tonight. Ian, was definitely on top form tonight, and it doesn’t come any better than this. The review of the night can be captured in a single word Brilliant!!!

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Twenty-Five Years Touring Ian Siegal Tonight The Convent

The Three CD Boxed Set celebrating Ian Siegal’s 2wnety5ive Years on the road available HERE

Elliott Morris Launches Pledge Music Campaign

pledge-poster-with-info

 

AWARD-WINNING MUSICIAN LAUNCHES DEBUT ALBUM CAMPAIGN

Elliott Morris Launches Pledge Music Campaign
Photo Credit Rockrpix

Award-winning singer/songwriter and guitarist Elliott Morris is launching a crowdfunding campaign to record and release his first album. Following the success of his E.P. It Seemed To Make Sense At The Time read what Bluesdoodles said HERE

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time!” says Morris. “I aimed to get into the studio at the start of the year, but the gigs have just kept coming!”

2016 started with a Celtic Connections spot in Glasgow (where previously Morris was a Danny Kyle award winner) followed by a support slot to American singer Aoife O’Donovan at her UK album launch in London. He then hit the road with Canadian roots rockers the Bros Landreth, supporting them on their debut UK tour. Other notable shows this year have included opening for Cara Dillon, headline dates at The Troubadour in London, and most recently, sharing a bill with Badly Drawn Boy at Barking Folk Festival.

“Crowdfunding means that people I’ve played to along the road so far can directly become involved in the creation of my first album said Morris, who averages 120 live shows a year. “I have played these songs up and down the country in pubs, folk clubs and concert halls, and met many great music fans along the way. It only seems natural to include them in the next step!”

Morris, described by Acoustic Magazine as “the next big thing”, has previously completed two UK tours supporting Paul Carrack where he made a lasting impression with Bluesdoodles we said “His voice is powerful and he engaged with the audience with funny tales and setting the context for his songs which were a mix of folk and country tinged with blue. The numbers were self-penned full of clever lyrics, this is a songwriter who understands the power of the story….” 

PledgeMusic is a direct-to-fan music platform, which allows fans to become a central part of the music making experience, gaining access to exclusive content and seeing Pledger-only updates that provide insight into the music as never before.

“Using PledgeMusic lets me offer my audience far more than if I were to release by myself through a label. With the advance support of my listeners, I can offer not just physical CDs, but I can release the album on vinyl, and provide really special extras such as signed artwork prints, handwritten lyric sheets and bonus discs. I can also send exclusive updates from the studio directly to Pledgers.”

Other benefits on offer to Pledgers include exclusive Harris Tweed guitar straps, a thank you in the CD booklet, signed and framed vinyl, an exclusive live EP recording while on a tour of Scotland this summer, and even a house concert where Morris will come and play a show in your living room.

Furthermore, once Morris’s funding hits its target, 10% of any extra Pledge money goes to the men’s mental health charity C.A.L.M.

Elliott Morris   releases his album in early 2017, but anyone can become part of the journey now. Visit Pledgemusic NOW   to find out more about the album, benefits and Pledge HERE.

 

 

 

 

Small Town Talk with Ma Polaine’s Great Decline

Small Town Talk with Ma Polaine’s Great DeclineSmall Town Talk with
Ma Polaine’s Great Decline

 

Ma Polaine’s Great Decline have put together four tracks of quirky, unique, music which is grown up full of folk, roots and a colouring of the blues this duo packs a musical punch we all want to feel. Small Town Talk is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut album Got Me Out Of Hell.

Within the four tracks they have developed a studio based EP that has a different feel from the album as they experiment with the possibilities of a studio with sound that has layers and textures.

All four of the tracks are written by Beth Packer and Clinton Hough, who have the artistry to spin a musical tale which is as much about the unsaid, left to the imagination as the path their poetry takes you. Deep into the underbelly of small town gossip and intrigue.

The EP opens with a dark tale, full of percussive menace and the feeling of something in the shadows approaching you. Japanese Knotweed is not a missive of the invasions of exotic plant that starts in the garden and then goes on a rampage but instead of neighbours stalking. Compulsive listing with Beth Packer’s vocals adding to the intrigue.

The mood and tone changes, with Waiting For War, with guitar and the plaintive vocals of Beth as a ballad unfurls a story. Every listener will be able to interpret the lyrics depending on their own experiences, tears and fears another clever number. Leaving you with the inevitability that another war will happen sometime soon between lovers countries conflict which is part of our tapestry.

Never can you have Been Loved Too Much, the sadness and loneliness that Beth and Chris conjure through the music is the rendition of deep pain that shapes your thinking, dreams and hopes. This is pain that leaves you careless worthless and the accordion mimics with weeping qualities of the vocals.  The ballad has a live, intimate feel she is weaving her magic and singing directly at you.

Closing the quartet is Harvey, which lightens the mood with a country fair feel. The accordion and percussion has a feel of Groanbox numbers. Compelling listening as the Bank robbery leads Harvey to fail and die. Behind the lightness of tempo is a dark tale of pathos as Cajun meets country blues.

Ma Polaines Great Decline on this EP captures the roots of music and twists them with lyrics that tell a tale full of intrigue and hidden shadows.

SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

    1. Japanese Knotweed
    2. Waiting For War
    3. Been Loved Too Much
    4. Harvey

     

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of MusicJimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

 

Tonight The Tunnels in Bristol celebrated an evening with music that refused to be defined. It was all excellent and rooted in the experiences of folk, African, European, the Worker, the Poor and the Enslaved.  The colossus that is Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus hit town tonight on a tour spreading their approach to music, life and humour across Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Slovenia and with eleven dates left to play.

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music
Words barely capture the vibe, passion and the distilled essence of Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus’ music; they have a deep empathy and the harmonization and flowing tonal textures send chills down your spine and connects deep in your music DNA.  Tonight opened in a traditional Ian Siegal solo gig format with the wonderful Silver Spurs from The Dust he fills the stage and then when the last note of guitar recedes and his spinning fingers still he then invites Jimbo to join him on stage and the party begins. Ian introduces the multi-talented Jimbo with a new fact that he played on the score for Finding Nemo.  The flow of conversation linked the music and wove the tradition of storytelling with roots music this was a pair of troubadours in action.  Yes, there was a set list but this was flexible as they discussed what to play next, they dipped into traditional music and songs they have written and recorded on their live album Wayward Sons, and back catalogue of Ian’s including Man & Guitar, and Picnic Sessions. It was at the recording of Picnic Sessions that this pair of musical reprobates met and the happy partnership for music lovers was formed.

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of MusicThe set list mixed gospel, Mary Don’t You Weep, Blues Charlie Patton’s, Pony Blues and Mississippi Hill Country of RL Burnside with Long Haired Doney,  Wilie Nelson Country with Crazy Soldier via Willie Nelson and Tex-Mex courtesy of the song that never has a happy ending Gallo del Ciello. We learnt about mules that they were the infertile progeny of a Horse and an Ass, Jesse James’ pistol in the possession of Jimbo’s Dad and Rosetta Patton the daughter of Charley who bought Jimbo up. His music is steeped in the traditions and folk memories of Mississippi. Ian has a passion, deep understanding for the feel of the blues in all its shades and textures and when in Mississipi recording his name Ian was difficult for the rest to get to grips with, so he got called Overseas. Yes, he is from overseas but his understanding of the music makes him a natural, hence the Talkin Overseas Pirate Blues. This was artistry the show was immense and the music rolled on as guitars changed and for some of the songs Jimbo added harp plus delicious mandolin so sweet you could taste it.  Tallahatchie, a Jimbo number with a fantastic mandolin lead break, bringing more cheers and whoops of delights from an audience that sat in and listened in delight at the power of these two on stage. Favorites were included into the set  I Am The Train, Casey Jones and Hard Times Come Again No More, weaving the storytelling, connecting with our emotions as quality folk/roots music of the people for the people should.Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

 

Tonight’s show was a tour-de-force entertaining, funny and the music sublime we were transported into a land where music ruled we were in harmony and the singing  that accompanied the duo spontaneously on Dirty Old Town an encore that left us wanting more. You can tonight they move on to The Convent in Stroud. Continue to support live music if you can’t get there the solution is watch it online via Netgig – link HERE

Checkout the rest of Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus tour dates HERE

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The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective delivers a distinctive, raw edgy roots sound from deepest Essex. The latest album is Live and Kickin at The Brasenose Arms. The show was the set at Cropredy Fringe Festival jam-packed with the energy of performing live and enjoying every second on the stage. The music is rooted in musical culture of blues, folk and Americana and has a stomping driving rhythm and beats that defy you to sit a listen without your foot tapping and a smile on your face. Opening with Jamie saying its boogie time leading into the opening harp phrasing from Nick Garner, before the dual vocals from Lizzie B and Jamie the harmonizing is infectious and no way is the music a Bad Looser. The feel good factor of the music flows and the guitar has a western country twang that pings off the lyrics with the rhythm section of Kevin Warner on Bass and drummer Spencer Blackledge. Adding to Jamie’s guitar is David Milligan ensuring a full sound that blends and contrasts as the beat demands throughout this feel-good album. The boogie woogie of Come Home will ensure the dancers will be on their feet in a flash as the harp fills in with a lead break lets Rock ‘n Roll with the Collective. The tracks are all instantly recognizable as Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective with the mix of thumping beats, swirling harp and Jamie’s and Lizzie’s vocals. This is the hallmark of the music I Can’t Deny with deep country guitar and a dancing vibe just keeps the live sound flowing. The bass opening of Mean Old World gives the track a darker more sombre side then the guitar adds some brighter shades Jamie’s voice is low and serious in a track that shows the slower darker side of the collective. This leads seamlessly into the glorious harp guitar opening of Native American with a real Western swing. The album has the ebb and flow of a show as textures and tones change, the style, approach and professionalism is a constant they have a distinctive sound that connects them to each other and to the audience. Reaching For The Stars textural full of the weft and warp of roots music that is contemporary with interesting use of echoes and distortions. Closing with Voodoo Man styles have been explored and we are back to a foot-stomping, energetic flow of music that leaves you smiling tapping and dancing check them out they have attitude and style.

The fourteen tracks on the album are all original and written by Jamie Williams, this Americana style music is about fun, sung in good humour and has a freshness and jolt of living that makes you think of summertime. Keep delivering music like this and you will be live and kicking out the collective sound for a long time to come.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listings

  1. Bad Loser
  2. Come Home
  3. Dug Deep, Found Steel
  4. I Can’t Deny
  5. Lifeline
  6. Mean Old World
  7. Native American
  8. Natural Born Woman
  9. Peas In A Pod
  10. Reaching For The Stars
  11. Stone Drunk
  12. Summertime in Georgia
  13. Voodoo Man

Sonic Gumbo spicing up music Mumbo Jumbo Way

Sonic Gumbo spicing up music Mumbo Jumbo Way

Sonic Gumbo spicing up music Mumbo Jumbo Way

 

 

Mumbo Jumbo, definition: language or ritual causing or intending to cause confusion or bewilderment. The band achieve that with these thirteen cracking tracks. The music refuses to be defined some tracks have a feel of Tom Waits others tip their hat at Chas and Dave! One thing that is certain the latest album Sonic Gumbo spices up music the Mumbo Jumbo way. This is a sonic sound space that is crammed with high quality phrasing, lyrics and musical interpretation that make your ears prick up and listen. Sonic Gumbo is the musical equivalent of Cajun cooking, full of spice and every earful is a tasty delight. The trio that are in the Mumbo Jumbo musical cooking pot are Oliver Carpenter, Chris Lomas and Phil Bond the music is eclectic acoustic harmonious music. They mix fun and pleasure with reflections on life.

Opening with a Second Hand Guitar Dealer, with a swirl of the six-strings Sonic Gumbo is underway with a song about six-string obsessives. This is an upbeat number that guitar players who collect can definitely relate too. The dealer has a Faustian approach to selling especially those on their own. The tone changes for a Tom Waits fuelled number Sail That Ship. A complex tale of ex-lovers living in the same house, the accordion piano mix gives the number a Parisian mystery. The instrumentation is varied and cleverly suits every track with another track of trumpet and vocals that reflect Tom Waits to begin with, on Ally Slopers Holiday. Expect the unexpected as the trumpet-led music leads up the East End for a knees up in the boozer around the old Joanna (piano) a song to make you smile as Tom Waits meets East End via Gumbo Sonic. Tom reappears with No Devil at the Crossroads. This is a song explaining that the devil stays at home comfy in his slippers as the music lacks originality at the Crossroads these days. I know for certain blandness and Mumbo Jumbo will never be heard in the same sentence. I have heard the devil has his walking boots on and walking to a crossroads near Mumbo Jumbo to get more Sonic Gumbo.

The sadness of trumpet calling and piano opens Those Frail Few the vocals slow and measured as a moment of reflection is taken. This is an honouring of old soldiers all over the world. Old age reappears with Hosedown, do not be fooled by the upbeat tempo. Hosedown has a dark and salient message about how we care for the elderly. Why does care have to be rushed without humanity and care? No answer but a thoughtful modern song. The tempo changes again as the trumpet fanfare a sunshine number touched with a reggae tempo a dancing smiling number Taking You Back. Closing with The Final Encore the music hall is full, brightly lit and fun is being had. A superb way to leave Sonic Gumbo.

Sonic Gumbo is a collection of thirteen original tracks. Mumbo Jumbo have woven together an album that is full of intrigue, emotions and is fun and thoughtful. The approach is modern stretching music into a Sonic Gumbo stew of sounds and textures. There is Jazz, Reggae, blues and traditional riffs swirl together with a Mumbo Jumbo twizzle stick taking us on a carousel of musical fun.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Mumbo Jumbo – Sonic Gumbo – Purchase HERE direct from the musicians.

Track Listing

1. Second Hand Guitar
2. Sail That Ship
3. Ally Slopers Half Holiday
4. Those Frail Few
5. Rejoice
6. Hosedown
7. No Devil At The Crossroads
8. Later somehow
9. Taking You Back
10. Hold On
11. Back To The Wheel
12. Too Many Days (Like That)
13. The Final Encore

Behind The Wheel with Red Dirt Skinners

Behind The Wheel with Red Dirt Skinners

Behind The Wheel for a Ride of Originality

Thanks Red Dirt Skinners

Roots wither and die whether music or plants without green shoots.  Red Dirt Skinners are an imaginative duo creating beautiful shoots of glittering music that will ensure roots/country music will continue to thrive Behind the Wheel. With this, their fifth album, the duo with the unique combination of acoustic guitar, drum and saxophone have made a noise that pleases all who listen. How have they done this gritty perseverance, hours behind the wheel driving to gigs and festivals and the hard work behind the scenes with emails and phone calls. Hard work and talent pays off the reward is full shows and another album that delights on so many layers.  Yes, there are the dissenters – why? because this sound that is stripped back to a raw intensity will not neatly slot into a genre. Red Dirt Skinners blend and distill a sound that is recognisable as their’s rooted deep in musical traditions, folk, country and the shading of blues. It is going to be an enjoyable musical ride Behind The Wheel with Red Dirt Skinners.

 

Once again, Behind The Wheel excels. With its haunting and alluring combination of Sarah’s soprano saxophone, Rob’s acoustic guitar, strong lyrics and harmonies that are spellbinding. Opening with the title track the Saxophone and percussion creates a mood and then the vocals create a story of gypsies on the road they have a house but freedom has its delights. Some great lead breaks and the soprano purity of Sarah’s award winning skills; this is roots music picking up a theme that it is about the journey, travelling a harmonious adventure into the unknown a theme coming across from traditional music across the world. All nine tracks are special, The Other Half is a love song with gentle heartfelt emotion. Rob’s vocals and guitar playing are a perfect combination as the track opens then the gentle saxophone and Sarah’s reply; a duet that clutches at your heartstrings, a love song that reflects the depth of a relationship of two halves. The lyrics have a power the phrasing of the words and instruments create a sound that has a sweetness tinged with an edgy rawness. The up tempo Bad Apple is a clever re-working of a bad apple in a barrel. Here it is down in the greenhouse. The saxophone sings its own tune and we all know a bad apple has fallen far from its tree.

The longest track on the album Daybreak is the synthesis of all things that are great about the Red Dirt Skinners. The music curls around the country fueled tempo and lyrics. Daybreak is full of the feelings of a day just about to begin full of hope.  Nothing is rushed between them the duo create space to explore as the melodious tunes linger on the lyrics. There is no rush the next track will come along just when we are ready. Like slow cooked food, this is about depth of tone not a quick flurry and move to the next thing on the agenda. Closing with Eleanor Joan (reprise), we have a second helping of the track heard earlier in the album, this time an instrumental that fades as the album closes.

The economy in the riffs, licks and saxophone lead breaks complement each other perfectly. This is an album that will not be reviewed and put away it will be listened to time and time again.

Red Dirt Skinners, are a rootsy duo, Behind The Wheel is worldly-wise music with a story to tale and a tune to sing.  Check them out the mould is broken and the music pours out, full of integrity, inspiration and individuality. Red Dirt Skinners do not mimic they create a sound that is Rob & Sarah’s.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

RED DIRT SKINNERSBehind The WheelSIDEGOAT RECORDS OUT 24th March 2016 – Available HERE

Track Listing

  1. Behind The Wheel
  2. Home Sweet Home
  3. The Other Half
  4. Eleanor Joan
  5. The Inspiration
  6. Bad apple
  7. Thoughts Of The Past
  8. Daybreak
  9. Eleanor Joan (reprise)

Paul Cowley Album – Rural

paul cowley

Paul Cowley Album – Rural

Independent

 

Rural is an album crammed with good songs, endearing vocals and acoustic guitar that sings. This is country blues with a collection of classics and a handful of self-penned numbers showing that Paul understands the beating musical legacy of the blues. Rural is not an album lurking in the backwaters, it is a celebration of blues songs that have no need for effects and add-ons it is a perfect demonstration of stripped-back music in its simplest form.

Stripped-back does not need to be dull and leaden as the foot tapping Jitterbug Swing shows with the harmony of guitar, stomp board and lyrics that reflect good times as captured in Bukkha White’s iconic number.
All the classics were delivered with feeling and panache especially Candyman and the last track Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied; anyone who loves music that is a simple combination of harmonies between guitar and vocals this is an album that will please the listener every time you will be satisfied!.

The hidden gems are Paul’s own compositions, the four numbers are not replications of pieces from a music museum. Every one of his own numbers has a modern feel to the lyrics shaped and honed to fit into the musical format of the album. These are tracks that reflect the earlier music and works giving the album clarity of musical form and a foot in the past and the present.

There is for me something missing a layer of sound to augment and give punctuation to the lyrics could be a different tone from guitar, blues harp or percussive tones. The album leans for me heavily on the tried and tested Blues format of the front porch and hasn’t captured the feel of modernity that makes the album stand out from the crowd with an unexpected twist in the blues being delivered.

That said, there is no doubt the Paul Cowley Album – Rural, delivers what the artwork promises this is country blues, full of acoustic delights found in the rural heart and soul of stripped back roots music.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. Write Me A Few Of Your Line (Mississippi Fred McDowell)
2. Monday Morning Blues (Mississippi John Hurt)
3. Jitterbug Swing (Bukka White)
4. Not What They Seem (Paul Cowley)
5. Pay Day (Mississippi John Hurt)
6. Death Letter (Son House)
7. Candyman (Rev Gary Davis)
8. I Like A Girl (Paul Cowley)
9. Franklin Nashville (Paul Cowley)
10. You Gotta Move (Mississippi Fred McDowell)
11. At The End Of The Day (Paul Cowley)
12. I Can’t Be Satisfied (Muddy Waters)

Have listen –