ALL IS WELL
Another Unknown Legend From The Suburbs Delivers a Gem.
I receive music from a variety of sources and countries every week, so prioritising reviews is proving increasingly difficult, especially as I pride myself in listening to everything prior to writing about it.
Thus more and more albums are falling by the wayside; some from bands and singers on biggish record labels and also self-releases by Singers like Roy Peak. Roy did the right thing and contacted me via the website several times earlier this year, but because I was overwhelmed by work and CD’s I didn’t respond…..then two days ago he sent me a snarky/sarcastic Tweet.
I wasn’t in the best frame of mind so this was the wrong place……right time!
OK Fella…..bring it on……show me what you’ve got!
Oh dear……opening track Okolona is bloody good! Peak has the type of interesting and raspy singing voice I love and the slightly sloppy guitars and bass behind him were just what I needed to hear, but didn’t know it.
By day Roy Peak is a bass player (for hire?) in several bands; but with songs like Underhill Rose and the grizzled folk-rocker It’s Better To Be The Bride he deserves to front of house a lot more often.
I like the way Peak takes everyday subjects like life, love and death and give them a quirky left of centre makeover. His writing style on Teach Me and the punchy Black River is like the edgier side of Neil Young and John Martyn, but Peak certainly isn’t a copyist or indeed a one trick pony.
He has an angry Punky streak in him too which comes across in the fiery Mean Girl Blues and the muscular Somewhere in the Distance too.
It’s favourite song time and on an album that has appealed to me on many levels one song stands out above all others; Clear Lake, February 3rd 1959.
One of the greatest songs of all time, American Pie is about the same subject…..the death of Buddy Holly. The difference here is that Roy Peak inhabits the mind of a tired and lonely Holly and re-imagines his last thoughts about his wife Maria Elena.
It’s a genuinely clever and fascinating song that shoe horns in a couple of Buddy’s song titles without ever being cheesy or mawkish, which is quite an achievement.
Apart from the vanity side of listening to albums before anyone else; one of my main reasons for keeping going with The Rocking Magpie is discovering artists like Roy Peak and having the ability to scream their talents from the Internet Rooftops……trust me, this is right up our/your musical street; and it’s cheap too.
Released December 2014.