The Blues Knows No Borders With Music This Good.
The old adage of ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’ surely applies to Trevor Sewell from Sunderland in the NE of England.
Even Trevor would admit to being a ‘journeyman musician’ up until only a couple of years; making a living from his work but very much under the radar like so many others out there.
Then quite randomly in 2013 he received a letter saying he was in the running for a prestigious Blues Artist of the Year Award in Hollywood! Blow me down if he didn’t go on to win it; and after 30+ years become an overnight star!
Jump forward four years and he is about to release this; his fifth album in five years, recorded in Nashville, of all places with some friends; of whom a couple of names are well known around these parts; but more of that later.
Opening track Someday instantly made me sit back in my swivel chair……it’s the Blues Bub; but with the addition of a fiddle has a sweaty Country feel to it; and I like it a lot.
This is followed by Mountain of Gold; a tender ballad that wouldn’t be out of place at the Bluebird Cafe or one of the more hip venues in East Nashville; as opposed to the Working Men’s Clubs of the North East where Sewell served his apprenticeship.
I’ve said before I truly admire artistes that are prepared to step out of their comfort zone and Trevor does that from start to finish here. Of course his distinctive gravelly voice (think Chris Rea after 40 Benson and Hedges) and his top quality guitar playing make this a Trevor Sewell album; but who among his many fans (old and new) would expect some light night sultry Jazz tinged ballad like the beautiful 7 and 1/2 minute duet with Janis Ian? Me neither; but with Ms. Ian tinkling the ivories, Trevor Brewis’ rock solid drumming and Sean O’Bryan Smith on double bass sounding as if they have just left the Bluenote studio; it’s the perfect late night accompaniment for lovers everywhere.
Older fans will love and newer ones impressed by the fire and brimstone guitar and vocals on Stand Next To Him and You Ain’t What I’m Looking For, as both are Blues Rockers of the finest order; and with Matter of Time shows Mark Knopfler how it’s done.
The biggest surprise for me is the high standard of songwriting here; not that Trevor was ever a poor songwriter….far from it; but the ballads Tear It Down and Blanket of Hope which is full of glorious female harmonies on the chorus too, take him into a league I never expected from a man primarily known for his guitar playing.
It’s probably because it’s the the biggest and best surprise here in every department, from stinging guitar interludes to the swirling B3 Hammond via a tight Muscle Shoals type rhythm section that the delicious duet with Tracy Nelson, Long Time Ago easily becomes the RMHQ ‘Favourite Song’ on CALLING NASHVILLE (An Americana Adventure).
Trevor’s trademark ‘Blues’ is the thread that weaves throughout the album; but he delves into many golden pots to create a true Americana Adventure for a starry eyed Mackem Lad.
Released July 25th 2017