New studio album from Ian Siegal, drops on the doormat. Thank you, Mr Postman bringing the hope of joy with a shiver of anticipation of something solid, positive and reassuring in a world of uncertainty. The album cover monotones of dark greenish hue and stark font Ian Siegal All The Rage has arrived. Now Listen!
The album All The Rage has been fuelled and inspired by the world that Siegal looked out on last year. He saw poison in the veins of the planet, the election of President Trump, the rise of right-wing factions across Europe. His starting use of words is evidenced in the title – All The Rage – normally understood as popularity, being a craze, here we have a shaking of the Siegal’s fist on our behalf in anger, frustration and bemusement in the distorted rise of populist politics and world solutions that do not rest easy on our consciences.
Going straight to the track listing, rewarded with the immense intrigue of what these ten new original songs will be like. The songs all have Siegal’s hand in the mix with six of the tracks co-written this will be an interesting first listen. Three of the numbers co-written by album producer Jimbo Mathus who Ian has toured with as an alluring double act. The album is definitely full of promise before a note is heard, but here is the question will it deliver?
So turn up the speakers ready to sit back and absorb the songs. The album was explored a number of times before the review, mostly played for the pure unadulterated pleasure of hearing Siegal’s vocals, guitar and the interplay with his band.
Drumming followed by the familiar guitar sound the perfect intro to the latest album adding to Ian Siegal’s amazing and powerful discography that ensures he remains the award-winning troubadour delivering the strong songs we want to hear. As the opening track, Eagle-Vulture fills out with slide-guitar with an urgency and vocals, Eagle-Vulture is a number demanding your attention like the military walking through your headspace.
As you would expect from the mercurial troubadour that refuses to be defined by genre every track brings a new twist in lyrics and tonal texture. The beat compliments the lyrics and the vocals change to suit sometimes spat out, other times delivered with a cajoling tone the words as required with melodic spiciness.
The trademark recognisable riffing squealing guitar opens The Sh*t Hit, for a brief moment you expect Mortal Coil but no this is dark and new. This is sharp, blues that is gritty reflecting the moment that we are living in.
A highlight of an album that sparkles with glorious riffs, lick and lyrics is Ain’t You Great. This is Siegal dark penning dark lyrics and combining with a dancing Latino beat. This contradiction of styles works it makes you listen to the lyrics that have a political prophecy. A number where the album title is hidden and the charismatic wonders of listening to Dusty Ciggar’s guitar playing shines through like a beacon of hope.
The trio of numbers written with Jimbo Mathus has a special tonal quality this is a pairing that captures the blues but never confined by convention. My Flame is a gentler finger-picking number with an intimate personal delivery. With the blues of If I Live capturing your ears and Sweet Souvenir following conversation with a bartender as we try to remember. This is a trio of numbers once heard never easily forgotten.
The two tracks written by a trio of talent have lyrical storytelling and at the heart is the infectious Jacob’s Ladder with its mix of guitar and even some whistling. Jacob’s Ladder is the stand out track until you hear One-eye King a classic from birth. A ballad with oomph and again the darkness that Siegal has enfolded the album in so you are never far from death and destruction of our own making
The final track, Sailor Town, as Ian explains, “Herrera and I were discussing the areas we grew up in…” Siegal described his as “kinda rough y’know a ‘sailor town”. Herrera declared, “Boom, there ya go – that’s the title of our first song together!” closing out the album with a number full of Siegal swagger, verve and style that is present throughout All The Rage. From meeting the devils blues, ballads and cowboy songs all woven together by the power of vocal delivery of the clever storytelling lyrics.
TENdoodle paws out of TEN …
Ian Siegal – All The Rage – Nugene Records
All The Rage – dedicated to the memories of Freddy James and Jim Dickenson
- Eagle-Vulture (Siegal)
- Jacob’s Ladder (Azier/Den Haring/Siegal)
- The Sh*t Hit (Siegal)
- Won’t Be Your Shotgun Rider (Siegal)
- Ain’t You Great? (Siegal)
- My Flame (MathusSiegal)
- One-eyed King (Azier/Den Haring/Siegal)
- If I Live (MathusSiegal)
- Sweet Souvenir (MathusSiegal)
- Sailor Town (Herrera/Siegal)
Ian Siegal: (Vocals, electric, acoustic, slide and resonator guitars; percussion)
Dusty Ciggaar: (Electric, acoustic and pedal steel guitars, backing vocals)
Danny Van’t Hoff: (Bass, backing vocals)
Rafael Schwiddessen: (Drums, percussion, backing vocals)
Merel Moelker: (Backing vocals)
Jimbo Mathus: (Electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, piano, organ, percussion, drums (track 7) backing vocals)
Recorded at Island Studios, Amsterdam
Produced by Jimbo Mathus
All The Rage, Album Launch tour April 2018 – dates, venues and links to ticks for a gig you do not want to miss HERE