Erja Lyytinen – STOLEN HEARTS

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Erja Lyytinen
STOLEN HEARTS
Tuohi Records

Feisty and Intelligent Blues From Finland.

Criminally ignored by the English speaking world there is an excellent and vibrant music community all across Scandinavia; but for me Finland has the most eclectic and talented artists of the lot.
I only discovered Erja Lyytinen a couple of years ago with the release of her Live in London compilation album; but that only whetted my appetite for this, her ninth and latest studio album.
The title track Stolen Hearts gets proceedings off to a hot and sultry start, with Erja’s distinctive Finnglish accent purring and growling her way through a tale of a carefree young woman who finally finds love.
The concept behind Love Laboratory really intrigues me; is love an accident, fate or contrived? Who knows, but this song is intricate and clever while never really finding an answer; but that doesn’t matter as Lyytinen’s subtly funky guitar playing and the bands’ late night Jazz groove make for a really cool song.
This is followed by the beautiful ballad 24 Angels, featuring some glorious slide guitar and restrained yet muscular vocals from the singer-guitarist.
While guitar lovers will drool all over this record; for me it’s the actual songs and the way Erja Lyytinen sings them which makes her stand out in a very crowded market place. Awakening is a great case in point; with some tightly wrapped guitars licks and a powerhouse rhythm section only there to bring out the ‘story’ of someone re-falling in love with their long time lover…….a clever twist on a tired theme.
City of Angels is fascinating too, with Erja re-imagining her time as a student in Los Angeles which must have been a whole world and a half away from her home in Finland. The detail in the shadows is first-class on what is first and foremost a cool Blues Rocker worthy of Rory Gallagher or Bonnie Raitt.
The album closes with a bit of a surprise; as Erja puts down the electric guitar and sits alone at the piano to serenade us with Broken Eyes, probably the saddest song here and one that will haunt you for a long time.
Which all brings me to my ‘favourite track’ here; this award goes to songs for a myriad of reasons; and while Silver Stones doesn’t necessarily stand out and nor is it the most commercial song here; it is the most important.
It wasn’t until I was listening on headphones that the layers peeled away and I was left gob-smacked at the darkly beautiful tale of someone on the brink of mental illness and battling their demons with all of their might.
Sadly it’s a subject close to my heart and I guess everyone reading this will know of someone in a similar position, so give it a listen and marvel at the way Erja Lyytinen weaves her magic with words and guitar around a tragic subject.
As a reader hopefully you will have an open mind when it comes to music; so I urge you to give this young woman with a huge talent a listen; I think you will be very pleasantly surprised…..I was.

RELEASED UK & Europe 7th April 2017
RELEASED FINLAND Feb 3rd 2017

http://www.erjalyytinen.com/

The Mavericks – BRAND NEW DAY

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The Mavericks
BRAND NEW DAY
Mondo Mundo Recordings/Thirty Tigers

Saturday Night Starts Here!

I don’t know what, if anything is left to say about the Mavericks……first formed in the late 80’s in Miami to fill a void in the local music scene but subsequently creating a trademark ‘sound’ that is instantly recognisable all around the world.
Thankfully these are guys who have music coursing through their veins instead of blood and they keep writing songs that need to be sung, played, listened to and best of all……danced too!
While listening to opening track Rolling Along on a miserable grey and damp March Thursday in NE England; I was immediately transported to a mystical cantina somewhere North of the Rio Grande where the Mavericks, fronted by an ever smiling Raul Malo are the house band and the beer and wine flows non stop, and the dancing goes on until the wee small hours.
The song itself is an absolute delight with the musicians giving their collective all on a song full of hope and beauty.
While the Mavericks songwriting has ‘matured’ over the years; they never stray too far from the formula that makes fans come back for more, time and time again. While they are noted for their good time danceable songs like, Ride With Me and the Bossa Nova inspired Easy As It Seems; for me it’s the ballads that I love.
I had to do a double take when I first heard I Will Be Yours, as Malo’s heart-shredding vocal sounds uncannily like Roy Orbison performing a soft shoe shuffle.
The Goodnight Waltz is everything you would hope for from a song with that title on an album like this, turn the lights down low and let the world drift by as Raul Malo and friends take you on a dreamy journey along the tunnel of love.
While not exactly Black Sabbath; the title track Brand New Day is a lot rockier and the lyrics ‘heavier’ than normally associated with the Mavericks; but the punchy back-beat and emotional vocals coupled with words of hope, that many of us need to hear at the moment make for a Power Ballad Deluxe.
One of the things I’ve always loved about the Mavericks is the way they can blend various musical forms to create their own inimitable sound; and when I tell you one of my favourite songs here Ride With Me has a Ska groove, some swinging Tex-Mex accordion, Country Rock Guitar and sweet Latino Vocals you would think it wouldn’t work……but then you don’t know the Mavericks……it’s a joy from start to finish and could make a wooden leg tap out a beat.
Which all brings me around to the the RMHQ latest theme tune and favourite track…….Damned (If I Do) which opens with Eddie Perez making his guitar sound like an AK47 followed by a dark and brooding tune that fits my mood like a velvet glove. And, don’t get me started about the Satchmo style trumpet solos…….mind blowing!
What more can I say? The Mavericks have done it again; somehow managing to sound the same as ever, but also adding a whole new edgier sound than men of their age should be able to create this GOOD.

Released 24th March 2017

http://www.themavericksband.com/

#Sadly I can’t find a track to post alongside the review. SORRY

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors -SOUVENIR

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Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
SOUVENIR
Magnolia Music

A Rootsy Road Trip to Make Your Heart Sing and Your Soul Stir.

Drew Holcomb already had 7 releases under his belt when I first heard and reviewed Good Light in 2013; and that long apprenticeship at the coal face of Rock and Roll is still paying off with this, his ninth album in 12 long years.
My reviews always begin with the first track; simply because that is where listeners begin and I believe should give you a ‘feel’ for what is to follow. It doesn’t have to be the most commercial or indeed, ‘best in show’; but one way or another it should grab your attention.
In this case, on The Morning Song the opening couple of lines from a world weary and love lorn Holcomb not only ‘grab your attention’ but punch you in your heart and spin your brain…..like a flaming arrow from Eros.
“I want to make love after midnight/and fall asleep in your arms” and “Let’s dance like drunk sailors/like angels and jailbirds” take my breath away every time I hear them; plus…..well, you have to hear the song yourself to understand why I keep pressing repeat and wiping salty tears from the corner of my eyes.
Even if the team of Holcomb, Brinsfield & Dugger never ever write another song; they can all sit back and say “I wrote that.”
Comfortably straddling Alt. Country, Folk and Classic Country the Memphis/East Nashville hybrid that is Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors have never sounded finer than on the sorrowful Rowdy Heart/Broken Wing and Postcard Memories, with its’ wailing harmonica intro and Dew’s quivering voice delivering two songs fully laced with a brittle poignancy.
I must make it clear at this junction that this isn’t a ‘sad album’….not by a country mile; especially with the inclusion of the jaunty Mama’s Sunshine, Daddy’s Rain (possibly about a child or a lover…..but could actually be about me!) and the spine tingling love song Yellow Rose of Santa Fe; but quite a few songs are deep enough to make you really think about the contents.
The piano driven duet between Drew and wife Ellie Holcomb Black & Blue is almost ‘Beat Poetry’ over a late night Jazz melody; and is one of the many delightful surprises SOUVENIR keep throwing up.
For the accolade of ‘favourite track’ it’s obviously the opener The Morning Song; but album closer Wild World runs it a very close second. Again we find Holcomb at the piano and his warm leathery voice sounds on the edge of breaking as he delivers what at first sounds like a doleful and deeply thoughtful view on the world we now find ourselves in; but as he says “It’s a wild world/ but there ain’t no way I’m gonna quit it/Love is all I’ve got to give away.” Again; even if Drew Holcomb only ever wrote this song, he could die an incredibly proud man.
While everything here revolves around Drew Holcomb’s distinctive and expressive voice; this is very much a team effort from the song writing through the production to the tightly wrapped way the band perform behind the singer.
Congratulations all around.

Released March 24th 2017

http://www.drewholcomb.com/

EXCLUSIVE Chuck Berry – BIG BOYS

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Chuck Berry
Big Boys (Single)
Dualtone/Decca Records

Well……what else is there to say about Chuck Berry? It’s not even being a romantic to name at least 4 of his songs in the Top 10 Greatest Rock n Roll songs of all time; they are there on merit.
If there was any good news to be had when we heard the Great Man had died was that he had actually recorded a brand new album; CHUCK which was pencilled in for release on June 16th 2017.
It’s with great excitement we at RMHQ have the opportunity to give you the chance to hear first single BIG BOYS before anyone else.
Trademark Chuck Berry he sounds like he was having a blast and it bodes very well for the album itself.

Pre-order it HERE https://lnk.to/CBChID

PRESS RELEASE

Some of the songs on ‘CHUCK’ were originally conceived as far back as the 1980s, with Berry developing them in his home studio in St. Louis over many years during down time between tours. He worked on the album through 2014. When health concerns forced him to stop touring and recording in 2015, Berry continued to oversee production and planning for ‘CHUCK,’ enlisting his family and close friend Joe Edwards, the owner of Blueberry Hill, to fulfill his wishes that the album be completed and released. And from album highlight ‘Lady B. Goode,’ a spiritual sequel to the iconic ‘Johnny B. Goode’ featuring ripping solos from three generations of Berry guitarists, to the poignant country balladry of ‘Darlin’,’ a duet with his daughter Ingrid, ‘CHUCK’ truly is a family affair.

“Working on my Dad’s record has been one of the best experiences of my life,” said Charles Berry Jr. “I will forever treasure the musical conversations we had, and the time we spent together completing it.”

Chuck Berry’s passing on 18th March prompted an outpouring of support and condolences from fans, fellow musicians, and world leaders – from members of The Rolling Stones and Beatles, to former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The Times commented, “Berry created a set of riffs that remain the core building blocks of rock guitar-playing. He combined them with smart, sassy, sly and playful lyrics that painted incisive vignettes of teenage life. The result was a series of perfect three-minute pop masterpieces.” The Daily Telegraph reflected, “Chuck Berry was one of the undisputed, all-time greats of rock and roll, a founding father of the music that shook and shaped the world. His influence on Elvis, The Beatles and Stones (as well as every other star of the rock and roll firmament, from Buddy Holly to Bruce Springsteen) is enough to guarantee musical immortality”.

Rolling Stone claimed that Berry “defined rock & roll during it’s early years and for decades to come.” The New York Times called Berry rock’s “master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they knew themselves,” adding that after 60 years, his earliest music “still sounds reckless and audacious.”

‘CHUCK’ Track List:
‘Wonderful Woman’
‘Big Boys’
‘You Go To My Head’
‘3/4 Time (Enchiladas)’
‘Darlin’’
‘Lady B. Goode’
‘She Still Loves You’
‘Jamaica Moon’
‘Dutchman’
‘Eyes Of Man’

Ruthie Foster – JOY COMES BACK

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Ruthie Foster
JOY COMES BACK
Blue Corn Music

A Broken Heart Never Sounded Sweeter or More Soulful.

I’d not heard of Multi-Award Winner Ruthie Foster until her last album Promise of a Brand New Day in 2014 when I fell in love with her.
That album has been a bit of an antidote to many sad things in my life over the last couple of years so my heart skipped a beat when I received this album.
As a professional singer Ruthie can turn her hand to most things; and do them very well indeed; but for this she hand-picked 10 contrarily diverse songs that each told a deeply personal story that reflected the comings and goings in her life during a relationship break-up that included the custody of her 5 year old daughter……..so don’t expect many laughs.
The album opens with a rich and emotional take on Chris Stapleton’s What Are You Listening To? Ye gads; this song not only tugs at your heartstrings but ties them in knots then sets fire to them.
A great start; and somehow things manage to get even better and even more cerebral!
I have another version of Mississippi John Hurt’s Richland Woman Blues, but it sure don’t sound nothing like this exuberant, swinging version that features some smoking fiddle and mandolin from Warren Hood; but the song itself is now all Ruthie Fosters.
There are only a couple of up-tempo songs here; of which that was one the other that stands out is the Gospel flavoured Joy Comes Back featuring Derek Trucks on a guitar that smoulders as Ruthie loses herself in the sentiment of Sean Staples majestic lyrics.
When you put the songs in context; this album becomes a late night, smoky, tightly wrapped beacon of hope and love. We’ve all been there……and if we could we would all like to be the person singing Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever the way Ruthie Foster does.
I’d not heard either before but Ruthie Foster turns Abraham and Good Sailor into spell-binding and spine tingling, earnest and beautiful Folk songs that are so full of Soul they actually overflow at times.

The title track Joy Comes Back could actually have been written for this project; as the words sum up exactly what Ruthie must have been going through and thinking; and the way she delves back into her Gospel and Blues roots to find the strength to pour her hear out is staggering.
It won’t take a genius to work out this album will feature in numerous Top 10’s and Award Ceremonies at the end of 2017; but two sing here will singularly feature as ‘Songs of the Year.’
First one, Working Woman is call to arms for women every where, with Ruthie screwing here eyes tightly closed as she verbally punches out the chorus in a way I’ve not heart since Aretha was in her pomp!
The other is the first song I went to……because when I saw the title I thought “it can’t be….can it? Surely not….hopefully not!” But For some inexplicable reason she has chosen to include……War Pigs by Black Sabbath!
Aaaaagghh; it’s a horrible noise fest in it’s original format but…..and I don’t know how she has done this; she has turned it into a gutsy Country-Blues song full of punchy drumming, wailing mouth-harp and a ……melody straight from the outskirts of Hellfire County.
Apparently in her younger days Ruthie worked in the Navy, servicing helicopters and her colleagues loved their Heavy Metal, hence this selection……which has absolutely blown me away and given me a new found respect for The Sabs songwriting skills.
Every song here was selected because, in some way it ‘told a story’ and everything is rounded off quite perfectly with the finale; Forgiven……a song only a woman with a huge heart could sing.
As I’ve said before, there’s no point in covering a song if it still sounds like the original and here Ruthie Foster puts her own intimitable hallmark on every single song…..and in doing so has made one of the best Soul (?) albums I’ve ever heard.

http://www.ruthiefoster.com/home

Released 24th March 2017

 

 

Craig Finn – WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS

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Craig Finn
WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS
Partisan Records

Tiny Stories Full of Wonderment, Poignancy and Cracked Beauty.

Probably because I am an old man, the Hold Steady have completely passed me by so I still smile at the thoughts of previously confusing Craig Finn with Neil and Tim Finn from Crowded House…….in fairness to me; all three are very literate and thoughtful songwriters, but…..hey; it was an easy mistake for a doddery old man to make OK.
This is Craig’s third solo outing and to some degree is a lot more self-confident than the previous two albums; but still maintains the dark literacy and poetic heartbeat that they had at their core too.
Opening song Jester and June is a tightly wound up and passionate look back at something of a ‘car crash’ relationship from the narrators youth. Finn’s now trademark droll delivery is even more affecting here as the band go off into Alt territory with some punchy drums and bass and some slightly terrifying guitar licks in the background.
I said earlier that I feel that this is a ‘self-confident’ album; and I believe it is because with unconventional songs like Birds Trapped in the Airport and Preludes Finn certainly isn’t courting mainstream success; these are songs he must have had brewing for quite a while and ‘just had to record them’ and damn the consequences. They are twice as beautiful because of that attitude.
Rescue Blues and Tracking Shots are still left of centre; but more traditional in an Alt. Rock meets Randy Newman sense…….and to some degree the spirit of Randy Newman hangs all over this album. Finn’s vocal delivery not only reminds me of The Master; but the way he controls the narrative and combines words with ideas to create literate yet listenable songs, is straight out of Newman’s songwriting class 1:01.
God in Chicago is the most notable example, with Finn barely touching the piano keys as he doesn’t even allude to singing; just talking intimately to you the listener and you hand on every word scared to breath in case you miss something. Plus the fly-speck detail he includes in the story, is straight out of Hemingway….. “We had a boom box on the back street/that was running out of batteries/we played 1999 and Led Zeppelin Three/When the tape-deck got all wobberlee/she still sang harmonies.”
One song; for a variety of reasons stands out like a poppy in a what field…..It Hits When It Hits, is as far from being a traditional Love Song as the genre gets; but the way Craig Finn combines a softly hypnotic synthetic electro back beat with the saddest delivery you’ve ever heard on a song that feels like a boxer jabbing at your ribs until you have nothing left; and just have to surrender to the power of his words and spirit.
I’ve had this album for a few weeks now, and it’s been a bit of a sanitiser getting played in between tightly wrapped female singer-songwriters, Rocktastic Blues guitarists and Folk Singers who think that they have something to say; but also at the end of the day when my head is spinning and I need something that treats me like an adult; and that’s the best way to describe it Adult Music.
I’ve always had a soft spot for left-field music; Newman, Waits, Cohen etc. It ‘speaks to me’ and Craig Finn can now be added to that list; writing, singing and releasing albums like this for no other reason than because he wants to and in the knowledge it will always find a loving home someplace somewhere in the world.

Released Friday 24th March 2017

http://www.craigfinn.net/

Banditos – Fine, Fine Day (SINGLE)

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Banditos
Fine, Fine Day
(Taken from) Visionland

The Banditos have been one of our favourite discoveries since we created the Rocking Magpie website, so it was a bit curious that, after casually picking up the Banditos 2015 self-titled album and giving it a spin on Saturday night, it’s just been announced that they have just finished recording the follow up!
For much of the last two years, the Banditos have been on the road, relentlessly showcasing their critically acclaimed 2015 self-titled debut album. In late 2016, the six bandmates hunkered down at Plum Creek Sound Studios and democratically poured out sonic influences and emotionally charged personal experiences for their new album Visionland.

Produced by Israel Nash and Ted Young, the Birmingham/Nashville-based group’s second full-length album, released on June 23 – has one foot firmly planted in reality while the other tip-toes in and out of mental complexities, self-perception and altered-state illusions. The results are revealing, exhilarating and profound.

The album’s title track reveals these defining, cohesive thematic intricacies. “Visionland” is named after the now defunct $60 million theme park that was built in the late ‘90s near some of the band members’ childhood homes in Bessemer, Alabama. The park was shut down after only five years and the schizophrenic glimmer of hope it offered local residents connects to a greater overlying optimism for life present at the album’s core, an eerily relevant theme in contemporary complex times. Jeff Salter’s sweeping guitar strums swell at the song’s intro, lifting through the murky haze into the warm and sunny clarity of a duet between singer Mary Beth Richardson and singer/guitarist Corey Parsons.

The pre-order link is here: https://www.bloodshotrecords.com/album/visionland
RELEASED June 23rd 2017

The Haley Sisters – ALWAYS BY MY SIDE

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The Haley Sisters
ALWAYS BY MY SIDE
Comet Records

Prime Country Music, but Made In Yorkshire.

The Haley Sisters aka Jo-Ann and Becky have been criss-crossing Britain’s highways and by-ways
playing great Country music for 25 years or more; long before the mainstream media deemed it ‘fashionable.’
During my days at Maverick magazine I was well aware of the sisters; mostly because they were friends and firm favourites of my mentor, and then Editor Alan Cackett; so when he sent me this, their latest album I felt honoured indeed.
Even though I pretty much knew what to expect; I was still astounded by how good….and indeed ‘cool’ opening track Always By My Side was. WOW! Sweet Country Music indeed. The sister’s voices harmonise in a way only siblings can, and the song itself is pure quality.
At times it’s difficult to believe that these songs weren’t written on Music Row and recorded in one of Nashville’s hottest and most expensive studios, Luckiest Girl Alive would be a solid gold hit if recorded by Dolly Parton; but honestly wouldn’t sound half as good as this relatively simple recording, and that’s not meant to take anything away from the marvelous musicians who work so hard to create something that sounds so ‘simple’!
Eight of the ten songs here come from the sister’s own pens; and they definitely know what their fans want, with the thoughtful love songs Letter To My Heart and Somewhere Along The Road both feeling like a punch to the heart; but making me press ‘repeat’ after hearing them that first day.
While it’s all too easy to draw favourable comparisons with the Dixie Chicks (especially as they include their version of Bruce Robison’s Travelling Soldier) but The Haley Sisters have a bit more edge and earthiness to their songwriting, in the way Nanci Griffith or Laura Cantrell have, with If I Had My Time Over Again, being a perfect example of what I mean.
Tucked away in the middle is an extraordinary song called Hello Dad that will stop you right in your tracks, just as it did me. Very sentimental – yes; but every word is from the bottom of the heart and sung with such passion it will bring a tear to a glass eye.
While most other songs err on the quieter more introspective side of Country; the Haley Sisters can Rock the Honky Tonk when they need to, with my favourite track here being Can’t Walk Away From The Blues, which has some spark inducing guitar and mandolin in the background, but it’s Becky’s voice that you will remember.
Two other songs deserve a mention too; Song For Jim is a toe-tapper of the finest order featuring some mighty fine Cajun-style accordion. The other is a song I instantly recognised; but don’t know why as I can’t find it in my collection under anyone else; this version of David Allan Coe’s Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone) really shows the versatility that this delightful duo possess in spades.

RELEASED March 20th 2017
http://www.cometrecords.net/

Cindy Lee Berryhill – THE ADVENTURIST

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Cindy Lee Berryhill
THE ADVENTURIST
Omnivore Records

Inspirational Yet Uneasy On The Ear Anti-Love Songs.

As a general rule I no longer review albums that I deem ‘challenging’; yet there was ‘something’ about this album that has kept drawing me back to it, over the last couple of weeks.
Written and recorded over the last 5 years, this is a series of left of centre Alt. Rock meets the Avant Garde songs; inspired by Cindy’s late husband Paul Williams, the founder of Crawdaddy magazine, who died in 2013.
Opening track American Cinematography has a certain mystical/Eastern Beatles flavour to it; although Cindy’s deadpan delivery sounds nothing like Paul McCartney! It’s probably the melody here that has kept me coming back time and time again; peeling away the many layers that Cindy hides her feelings under.
While fundamentally an album of Love Songs to her late husband, they aren’t always easy on the ear; with the darkly beautiful an Affair of the Heart being the nearest to what you would hear on the radio.
But when you invest enough time; songs like Somebody’s Angel and Gravity Falls unravel like 3D Jigsaw and leave you quite breathless.
Others are a bit too Avant-Garde for my tastes; yet I Like Cats/You Like Dogs and Contemplating the Infinite (In a kiss) both left me cold until the night I listened on headphones; and then the parts all fell into place and I’ve grown to like…no, love both.
While not alone, title track The Adventurist uses a crazy collection of instruments, marimba, sheet metal, vibraphone, cello, violin and banjo alongside more traditional devices to create a gorgeous backing that never overwhelms Cindy Lee’s ever so natural voice.
The final track Deep Sea Dishing is an instrumental worthy of being on a film soundtrack and finds Cindy not only playing guitars but also the less well known dishwasher!
As well as the opening song, the other I keep going back to is Gravity Falls; a slightly Baroque slice of atmospheric Alternative Rock; not unlike something Polly Harvey or Tori Amos may record, so it takes the accolade of RM Favourite Track.
So, The Adventurist won’t appeal to everyone and nor was it intended to; but those with a sense of musical adventure will fall in love with this irregular creation.

Released March 10th 2017

http://www.cindyleeberryhill.com/

Lowlands and Friends – Play Townes Van Zandt’s Last Set.

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Lowlands and Friends
Play Townes Van Zandt’s Last Set.
Route 61

A Wonderful Homage To A Legendary Evening.

Townes Van Zandt didn’t really find fame, nor certainly fortune during his lifetime; but his influence and shadow can be heard and felt in a lot of what we now call Americana Music.
He played his last ever set at The Borderline in London on Tuesday 3rd December 1996; and as was common at the time only hardcore fans were there to witness a shambling set, with the singer the worse for ‘a life well lived.’
Twenty years later Songwriter, producer and leader of Lowlands Edward Abbiati has lovingly recreated the complete set-list in chronological order with the help of numerous friends from today’s wacky world of Roots music, in bars, garages, bedrooms and wherever across the globe.
Each song is introduced in the style of a radio presenter by narrator Barry Marshall-Everett who was there that night.
First song, Lightning Hopkins’ My Starter Won’t Start is a low down dirty Country Blues, featuring Shinyribs/Gourds frontman the inimitable Kevin Russell alongside the Gnola Blues Band; and boy does it inhabit the soul of not just the song; but Townes himself.
There are Townes’ songs here that I’d forgot about; and some I plain didn’t know and the way some of bands and singers explore the depths of his words are at times overwhelming.
Dollar Bill Blues I did recognise; but Italian Rock band Cheap Wine turn the volume up and create a dirty Grunge meets Alt. Country rocker of the highest quality.
Just like that track there are surprises, and always pleasant surprises around every corner…..with new names to me like Will T Massey and Australian Tim Rogers reinventing Marie and A Song For respectively.
Then there are RMHQ favourites Sid Griffin and Rod Picott to talk about; with Sid, Michele Gazrich and a band we’d nearly forgot about, The Lucky Strikes combining to bring an extra spark to Pancho & Lefty; making it sound not unlike The Band; although Michele Gazich’s ‘fiddle-extreme’ really does cut through everything like a freshly sharpened Bowie knife.
Rod makes two appearances; one alongside a host of other great voices on an almost psychedelic version of Sanatorium Blues; then on the much easier on the ear Tecumseh Valley/Dead Flowers hybrid; which was an early contender for the ‘favourite song’ accolade.
That in fact goes to the stunning Waiting Around To Die; with Chris Cacavas from the legendary Green on Red on Vocals fronting an intensely tight band of fine musicians, which leaves me breathless every time I hear it.
This would have been a fascinating project even if it had only been one singer re-enacting the concert; but by featuring such a variety of bands, singers and musicians to cover each song in their own inimitable way is very nearly genius; and every one concerned, especially Edward Abbiati should be incredibly proud of themselves.

Released February 10th 2017