Friday, 8 November 2019

Two Faces 30

Black Stone Cherry - Black To Blues, Vol. 2, album review

Heavy and Loud

I'm keeping this simple: I wanted something loud and heavy, any which way, and so this is doing just fine.

It is back to the blues, the roots, but played with the heavy gusto of now. Favourite is the Otis Rush All Your Love (I Miss Loving) that makes me think back to my first hearing from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. This great song - and the rest - isn't complex, just the repetition of riff and lyrical declaration:

All the loving is loving, all the kissin' is kissing
All the loving is loving, all the kissin' is kissing
Before I met you baby, never knew what I was missing
All your love, pretty baby, that I got in store for you
All your love, pretty baby, that I got in store for you
I love you pretty baby, well I say you love me too
All your loving, pretty baby, all your loving, pretty baby
All your loving, pretty baby, all your loving, pretty baby
Since I first met you baby, I never knew what I was missing
Hey, hey baby, hey, hey baby
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, baby, oh, oh, baby
Since I first met you baby, never knew what I was missing

Two Faces Music 29

Thursday, 7 November 2019

SUSS - High Line, album review

Ambient Twilight and Twang

The ambience of Country – not panorama or wafts of meadowgrass – but synth and pedal steel with brooding and tolling bells as well as peaceful clouds drifting overhead just before the fuzz. Ambient music, that is, but more fun to tease it out as above, the Country-esque not a dominant force but evocatively present because there is much other, as the folk of closer Sundowner, though the cowboy guitar does come along in the end. I’ll admit I have to listen again as I have been soothed over the past forty minutes by its charm when doing something other than lying in its musical fields. Genuine bliss and blossom lassoed in loops and synthesis. Consider Pink Floyd farming in Glen Campbell’s pastures and open plains.  

Listen and get it here.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Larry Miller - The Saint and the Sinner, album review

Resonating Return

This album, four years after Miller’s stroke put a halt to its initial recording and the normalcy of his life at that time, is a return to form in more ways than one [to state the obvious].

It is the blues through and through. From ripping it up to acoustic sensitivity, Miller plays brilliantly and is again in fine voice. Opener I Gotta Turn the Corner chugs out the most chugging blues delight imaginable, and we’re off, followed by a riff bliss with Women and the Blues. I Want My Life Back is a Gary Moore-esque lament that resonates for, again, obvious reasons though it is lyrically the blues of romantic loss.

There’s a resonator rendition of Black Oak Arkansas’ Hangman which is superb, and this is followed by the lamenting mandolin beauty of Your Tears Will Hit the Floor, a paradoxical upbeat folkblues in the way it deals with loss again – what goes up must come down.

The Outlaw Named is a sweet acoustic ballad reflecting his continuing deep Christian sensibilities; this followed by Taste My Love, an electric ballad featuring Miller playing his classic full-toned and bending lead, and penultimate track Why Don’t You Believe returns to riff with the addition of accompanying Hammond. Closer Ain’t No Love Anymore is another Moore-esque slow blues with organ also soothing the plaintive tone.

It is genuinely brilliant to see and hear this return. See other Larry Miller reviews on this blog here.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Pig Music 2

Wishbone Ash and The Groundhogs, Phoenix, Exeter, 27th October, 2019

Guitar Duos and Difference

Enjoyed especially seeing the latest incarnation of The Groundhogs [having not before] with original member Ken Pustelnik on drums, and newbies Chris D’Avoine on vocal and guitar, Sol Latif on guitar and Latch Manghat on bass.

It’s not complicated: they play Groundhog music from the band’s heyday, loud and raw and vibrant, encoring on, no surprise here, Cherry Red. There were extended guitar jams between D’Avoine and Latif – the later more shredding and the former more psychedelic – and both were gloriously indulgent [I listened to two guys call it ‘guitar wank’ and wondered why the fuck they went to a Groundhog gig – I’d happily refer to it as guitar spunk, caring less for those indulging their umbrage at the puerile, like this guitar duo could care less for such haughty dismissal]. Pustelnik on drums was such a pulsing core, and Manghat added his own sustained thunder to the riffs and rhythms. Far out, as I shouted at one post-jam moment. 

[Listening to Hogwash album as I wrote the above. Wonderful]

I had to leave the gig early but saw Wishbone Ash play their first number The King Will Come, as polished as ever [that’s what 50 years of playing will do, even with new members] and while the guitar playing was a more refined rock – when compared with The Groundhogs – I wouldn’t knock it [I mean, why would you when it is so good] but just stress its difference.