John Cee Stannard’s Latest Album Takes You To The River
With a jig in your step, you embark on John Cee Stannard’s latest album that Takes You To The River. The flow of music is fresh, free-flowing with the sparkling sunshine and the fish leaping with Stannard’s exploration of country blues with the Blue Horizon.
Behind the glow of the music are darker messages that explore life and human frailties. With ten John Cee Stannard originals with the essence of blues the done the British way and two re-worked classics by Jelly Roll Morton, Winin’ Boy Blues and the eponymous House of The rising Sun given a complete makeover. The Blue Horizon are the lynchpin to the Stannard sound, Mike Baker and Howard Birchmore providing guitar and harmonica layers of texture and tone building on the rhythms laid down by drummer Julian Brown & Andy Crowdy’s double bass, with special guests keeping the music varied and full of interest.
The music and vocals have a bright spring in their step as the album opening with Do It All Over Again. Full of sharp melodies and a witty look at life how we just do it all over again as we try to get ahead despite bills and taxes! This is feet tapping music that has a wide appeal as the tempo rises in Separation-2 rag blues suiting the tribulations of coping with several girlfriends. He shares the problem again with tuneful humour as he rhymes the ditty with the women names he has chosen. Opening with delightful harp, we learn about Margery, Eleanor and the rest of the girls. The styles of blues/country incorporated are done with a gentle and deft touch so the shape is always British keeping the Stannard feel and approach.
The title track, Run To The River, flows with vocals filled out with the Farnham Community choir and guest vocalist Julia Titus. A high point of the album full of gospel power as we reach the half-way point with the first cover. Winin’ Boy Blues, beautifully captured harnessing the music of country in the America of the 1930’s. Gospel and slide guitar form a winning combination on The Good Lord Didn’t Tell Me, slow full of mournful shading with Julia and the choir returning. Starting slow almost at a funeral pace John opens House of The Rising Sun, the guitar picks up the pace as the classic is reformed and the harmonica just rises the sun superb. Blues is the theme, so a train song is often hidden in the track list. With Simon Mayor’s fiddle adding a sharp piquancy and the extra vocal power from Julia provide a positive train song we are going home. This is a get up and dance tune, Let The Train Whistle Blow. The closing track Nothing is What You get leaves us up-tempo with Simon Mayor’s fiddle adding a ragtime beat when combined with the piano of Matt Epson that makes a statement that adds to the tonal texture and shape. The clever lyrics, slightly tongue in cheek from wordsmith John Cee Stannard shapes the album, influencing pace and approach on a happy album as John Cee Stannard’s Latest Album Takes You To The River
EIGHTdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- Do It All Over Again
- Separation – 2
- Have Your Fun
- Run To The River
- Winin’ Boy Blues Jelly Roll Morton
- The Good Lord Didn’t Tell ME
- House Of The Rising Sun Traditional
- The Wretch
- Let The Train Whistle Blow
- Ain’t No Livin’ With The Blues
- Nothin’ Is What You Got