TO THE TOP
It’s Only Rock n Roll and I BLOODY LOVE IT!
New music arrives on my desk from a variety of sources and for a variety of reasons; and only occasionally someone will contact me with a personal note to say “I genuinely think you will like this album.”
Such was the case here when a ‘friend’ mentioned a band a year ago that he’d seen at SXSW then again this year and he ‘knew that I would love them’….subsequently quoting reviews of similar acts.
He wasn’t wrong!
The fuzzy Jeff Beck channelled through Warner E Hodges guitar break that opens first track I’m So Blue had me instantly hooked and then a ‘most Blues-wailing’ harmonica sealed the deal before the singer Matthew Paige had even uttered a note. What can I see boom-boom Ramones style drumming, 60’s British Beat Boom R&B and a singer who thinks he’s Jason Ringenberg…..what’s not to like?
In many ways this album starts with a bang and proceeds to drop musical bombs at every opportunity……I Had a Vision is a soundtrack for anyone with a conscience in this mad political world and will have fans screaming the chorus while manically punching the air at concerts, and I expect the 100 mph stomper I Wanna Be Famous to have a similar effect.
This band will be known for their fantastic Rockers (Everybody’s Watching is as good as life gets!); but like the best before them they will be judged (by me at least) for their ability to slow things down too; and with I’ve Got The Blues, Paige’s sorrowful lament, a mournful harmonica and a Steel-guitar, duh-duh-duh bass and some sublime understated drumming combine to make an raw and authentic Country-Blues record that sounds like it was recorded in a field outside a Juke Joint in rural Alabama in 1947…..and damn good it is too.
Then, just to confuse you Velvet Low Down Blues finds the band harmonising on a gorgeous slow and swinging tune with a fiddle as lead instrument…..and again, it’s damn good.
She Was Mine, which closes the album rocks and shakes like a cat on heat, and Promise to Keep sounds like something the Stones or Faces might have recorded but were frightened to release as it was ‘too Country Rock’ for the times; but those times are right now and the Blackfoot Gypsies are at the forefront.
Do I go for the Diddley-Rocker Gypsy Queen, with Paige imitating everyone who has ever imitated Mick Jagger, for the title of ‘Favourite Track’ or the mellow and borderline sexy Woman Woman? Today it’s the latter, but last night with the car stereo cranked up to 11 it was the former, TO THE TOP is that kind of album, it has suited and created every mood I’ve been in or needed to be in all week.
Thank you Cary and thank you Blackfoot Gypsies, you know me better than I know myself.
It’s only Rock n Roll…….and I bloody love it!
Released April 14th 2017