Lone Bellow
Half Moon Light
Dualtone Records

When is Americana Not Americana But Still Is?

What is the difference between Folk/Alt Folk/Americana/Blues Rock etc? 
I had seen The Lone Bellow at the Sage Americana Festival so they have to be easy to class as ‘Americana’ don’t they?…… but that was before I listened to this album!
Zachary Williams, Brian Elmquist and Kanene Pipkin; under the excellent production of The National’s Aaron Dressner in his NY studio have produced in HALF MOON LIGHT an album to match their initial offering a few years ago.
I Can Feel You Dancing could have come from a Bears Den album as the brass section slides into the middle of a very softly sung opener to reveal the first of their intricate harmonies.
An especially song is the poignant August; a nod to Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson after his very sad death following a bout of depression; yet only months earlier I had seen him lead a superb set – a very good reminder to a much missed singer.
Having originally ‘filed’ this under Americana, there are clear signs of a gospel and almost evangelical leaning on several tracks just to demonstrate the ‘genre’ concerns I have and are still there after a few listens.
Zach’s very powerful voice comes to the fore on Count On Me, with the harmonies I mentioned earlier coming in on Was It Clean; and Kanene makes the most of a fine drum backing on Just Enough To Get By.
Favourites for me are the opener  Can Feel You Dancing and Illegal Immigrants where Kanene dragged me into believing I had come across a Phoebe Bridgers track by mistake, but in all honesty I could probably have picked at least another couple to earn the Best Track accolade.
On first listening this was a 7 but after listening to it during my daily morning walks (no interruptions) it has to be a very solid 8/10.
I would have loved to hear Kanene Pipkin taking a major role on more tracks, but if that’s my only gripe I can’t complain; although it would have been nice to see them on a longer UK Tour to accompany this.

Review courtesy the ‘Original Rocking Magpie’; Bill Redhead.

7th February 2020
Pre-Order https://thelonebellow.lnk.to/HalfMoonLight


Pete Molinari
Just Like Achilles
We Are Hear

Grown-Up Poptastic Anglo-Americana Never Sounded Better.

Anyone who follows us on The Twitter will be aware of the Hoo Haa it took to get a review copy of this release …….. thankfully ‘that squabble’ is over with; but had been any other artist in the world but Pete Molinari, I would have given up weeks ago.
Anyways; we have it now and…. well……. it’s taken some ‘getting into’; as like all his previous releases; apart from his very unique voice, it’s very different from what has preceded it.
Which is a good thing; because I love it when songwriters grow and develop; moving on ‘in a good way’ …… which has always been the Molinari Ethos.
First song Goodbye Baby Jane actually illicited an OOH! The first time I played it …….. by Pete’s standards it’s a big old Alt. Rock sound, albeit with a cool melody and almost Glam Rock chorus; yep the title did remind me of Slade and to some degree that ‘memory’ carries on throughout the song too.
Pete sounds like he’s been listening to a lot of different bands in the years he’s been off the radar, with several influences coming through songs like the psychedelic No Ordinary Girl where he sounds a bit like Liam Gallagher; but with typical Molinari chutzpah; ‘this is how you should have done it!’ And he’s right; it’s the finest song Oasis never recorded.
Fear not; this is 100% a Pete Molinari album through and through; and the most commercial thing he’s ever released with Radio Friendly songs bouncing out of the speakers every couple of minutes.
There’s never been a time in history when the World wouldn’t have been a better place for the grungy Garage Song, I’ll Take You There or his quintessentially English Pop Song, Please Mrs Jones coming out of the radio and defying you not to sing along.
Obviously there’s not a bad song here; and I’m impressed that there’s a a distinct flow, taking you on a Kiddy Rollercoaster of highs and lows, with absolutely no peril involved at all.
Pete still slides a couple of his trademark melodious Folk-Rock songs ; like the deep and meaningful Absolute Zero and then there’s the title track Just Like Achilles and Born To Be Blue with their jaunty tunes that gives them the capacity to make you sit back and listen to his wise words of wisdom, while shuffling to the beat.
Selecting a Favourite Song here is a bit like standing in an orphanage and looking at all the cute and longing faces; knowing full well you are going to break a lot of hearts with those you leave behind.
The singer’s love for all things Americana come through loud and clear on Waiting For a Train, and then Colour My Love is a doozy with a big ole Philles Records production and the piano led ballad Steal The Night is as good a song as Molinari has ever recorded and perhaps the whole album actually spins off this magical three minutes; but; and this is controversial ….. I’m going for …… cue drum roll ……….. You’ve Got The Fever; a delicious slice of moody Alt. Country flavoured Americana but with a Molinari cherry on top. What’s not to like?
I’m no lover of the hype that accompanies Vinyl releases; but maybe ten years ago Pete Molinari was an Early Adopter releasing LP’s and 45RPM singles to an adoring fan base; but for the time being and for fiscal reasons, Just Like Achilles is a Download/Streaming only release; yet these songs just cry out to be played in that format, where the listener has to choose the time to invest in listening to music; and boy will you ‘listen’ to these songs when you get the chance.


Released January 2020

Harry Stafford SHE JUST BLEW ME AWAY (Single)

Harry Stafford
She Just Blew Me Away
Black Lagoon Records

Well; here’s a thing. Donkey’s years ago I saw a Post-Punk band called Inca Babies a couple of times (as a support) and now; funnily enough can’t actually remember buying or even hearing any of their singles; but their name and memory lingers on.
So; jump forward to the middle of January 2020 when I received a shiny new album from their singer-guitarist Harry Stafford, called GOTHIC URBAN BLUES (Released in March) and that title really caught my attention ……. while the music; and this single in particular, sound nothing at all like what I remember from Inca Babies……. thankfully.
Watch this space in a couple of weeks for the album review; but until then enjoy SHE JUST BLEW ME AWAY as much as I have.

An album about the Metropolis, the naked city, the urban sprawl and the need to get back to the ripped back streets when you’re far away. If there are a million stories in the naked city, here are a few to keep you warm. Ahead of this, they present the lead track ‘She Just Blew Me Away’.

“She Just Blew Me Away’ is dedicated to Jim the singer, who would tell me stories of his love affairs. He would begin with. “I mean, she just blew me away”. And and how did it end? I would ask. “Ah well, she just blew me away,” says Harry Stafford.

Mixed and engineered by Ding Archer (The Fall, PJ Harvey) at his 6Db Studio in Salford, this album was co-produced by Archer and Harry Stafford.

Led by Harry Stafford, best known as founder, guitarist and vocalist of post-punk gothic rockers Inca Babies, the band’s core includes drummer Rob Haynes (The Membranes, Inca Babies), trumpeter Kevin Davy (Lamb, Cymande), guitarist Andy Mills, and Vincent O’Brien on Weisseborn slide guitar.

Formed in the early 1980s, Inca Babies released four albums and multiple singles and Peel sessions. Much of his musical career has been spent with Inca Babies, playing across Europe and the world but in 2015, after 35 years with Inca Babies, Stafford decided to release untamed solo material that echoes his love of blues piano and barroom ballads.

Released February 7th 2020.

Milk Carton Kids & Ryan Bingham NEWCASTLE

Milk Carton Kids & Ryan Bingham
Tine Theatre and Opera House
January 29th 2020

I’m a fan of Texan singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham; but The Milk Carton Kids have passed me by; with their reviews being handled by the Legendary Roy Peak in Americae for us. So, with both acts on this double bill being popular on RMHQ I was pretty excited to attend tonight; especially as it was going to be in one of my favourite; if under used venues in the City Centre.
Baring in mind how ‘popular’ Milk Carton Kids are; I was disappointed to see a few empty seats in the downstairs area; especially as there were a couple of dozen people sitting in the balcony; but perhaps they got a better view up there.
Bingham came on stage to muted applause; but that was more to do with the house lights still being on rather than any slight; as the raucous applause and cheering that followed many of his songs would prove.
His opening song; The Poet set the tone for his 50 minute set; slow, moody and deeply personal with his grizzled voice and nippy guitar picking settling the crowd down very quickly.
As he re-tuned his guitar he told a delightful story about how his Mother had initially instilled a love of music in him as a child and also bought him his *first guitar.
This led into the deeply personal Tell My Mother (I Miss Her So) which brought the loudest applause for a support act’s song than I’ve heard in years.

For a young man; Bingham has packed a lot into his years; which tends to end up in his songs, which come from the ‘Sing About What You Know’ guide book; and with songs as diverse as Jingle and Go, Broken Heart Tattoos and Crazy Heart in the locker; he’s a welcome torchbearer for the legendary Texan Songwriter Troubadours who came before him
His first *guitar got another mention later when he told us about the first tune he ever learnt to play; which I’m not going to spoil as it’s a key part of his set; but it got both chuckles and ‘aaahhs’ from the receptive crowd.
The final two songs; South Side of Heaven and Crazy Heart itself felt like an encore; especially as their introductions received loud hoots, hollers and applause before Ryan’s world weary voice once again sang about his world weary wisdom, in a way that belies him not actually headlining.
The next part of the evening is being written an hour after a ‘Twitter Spat’ with both the band and some fans (most who weren’t at the gig!) regarding an incident that I will talk about later.
I will try not to let this ‘colour my words’ and just refer to my notes.
During the interval there was a distinct buzz of anticipation in the bar; and I’m pleased to report that there was a very diverse mix of ages in attendance; which makes a nice change for Roots gigs in Newcastle.
The dapperly dressed duo arrived on stage to tumultuous applause and whistles which stopped in the blink of an eye as they stood by the single microphone and went into the winsome Younger Years (?) which was full of delicious harmonies and sublime finger picked guitar from both chaps; reminding me of those early Simon and Garfunkel records.
With a smile and a nod to acknowledge the applause Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan regaled the adoring masses with a masterful A Sea of Roses; and as it ended the long haired Pattengale ‘complained about the clicking from a/the photographer’s cameras’ and instead of the ‘first three songs’ being allowed for photographs he requested they cease immediatly.
At this stage I was already back in my seat after realising that the act was going to remain stood at the mic for the rest of the gig; and I saw one other making his way to the back; which left the third of our infernal trio; who began packing his cameras away (out of view …. or so he thought). Had events stopped there; all would have been fine and dandy; but our friend Kenneth got his eye on him; and taking on the guise of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory began to make fun, nay torment this chap …… to the amusement of several in the audience.
This went on for nearly five minutes, with Joey Ryan trying to mediate and get the gig back on track; but ‘Sheldon’ wouldn’t let it lie and kept interjecting.
Eventually sanity was restored and the concert continued; with a rather nippy Bluegrass song; that really emphasised their dexterity on guitar but their wondrous harmonies too.
Seeing how ‘judgmental’ their fans are; I’m not going to guess at the song titles in my notes; and very few were introduced in the traditional manner; although I did recognise Broken Headlights and it’s whispered harmonies; Maybe It’s Time and New York; which was a definite highlight for me.
Perhaps I’m not bright enough or perhaps even educated enough to ‘get’ Pattengale’s wacky sense of humour (I think the woman behind me was in danger of peeing herself at one stage; she was laughing so much); but he was easily distracted from the job in hand………. teasing Ryan about a song ‘written for a funeral’ and ‘hearing Ryan sing a particular song for the first time’ …. then deliberately putting him off by pretending to waltz to the off-beat.
Then there was the obligatory gag about accents when someone called out a request (The Only Ones btw; and rather splendid it was too as they sung it ‘off mic’); and again; he just didn’t know when to pull up the metaphorical drawbridge.
Although 70% of the audience seemed genuinely surprised; the duo came back for the contractually obliged encores; Hope of a Lifetime and The As and Clay followed by a very slow and wearisome Michigan; when the night was crying out for something up-tempo (they must know a feisty Bluegrass song that would fit the bill; or at least Wake Up Little Suzie!)
As we all know music is very subjective; and we all like different things in different ways. Tonight Milk Carton Kids were technically exceptional; and their harmonies are up there with the very best of all time; but if you didn’t know individual songs in advance (as my brother didn’t) nothing really stood out of the pack.
If it hadn’t been for the Twitter spat/attack this morning towards my alter-ego I probably wouldn’t have spent the last two hours writing this review.

Photo-Set Ryan Bingham https://www.harrisonaphotos.co.uk/Music/Ryan-Bingham/

Photo-Set Milk Carton Kids ?


Kailey Nicole
Kailey Nicole

Silky Smooth Contemporary Country Straight Outta Vegas via California.

I’m not even out of January and I have already received albums for release as far away as June! So choosing which albums to write about is proving just as difficult as last year …… but the quest to bring you the very Best and most Interesting Roots Music continues unabated; with the aid of coffee and ginger biscuits.
Today it’s the new album/EP from Vegas-born, California-raised and now Nashville resident, Kailey Nicole. With that rich cultural background it’ll come as no surprise to find opening track Brand New Day is a smooth contemporary Country song in the mode of the UK’s Shires or the type of song that would be introduced to just about any of the female singers on the Nashville TV series; but before the ‘producers’ got their hands on it and added everything but the kitchen sink. By the way; Ms Nicole has a delightfully clear yet gutsy voice that rings every ounce of emotion out of her words not just here; but every other song too.
There’s an awful lot to like on this EP; especially for Mrs Magpie who has been spotted more than once tapping her feet to the vibrant beat of track #2 Diamonds and Coal and the heartfelt and introspective Change My Ways; which deserves a much closer listen on another day; as I’m sure it’s going to unravel like a ball of wool.
There may only be six songs; but that’s more than enough to capture the attention of a weary old hack like me; so what are they going to do to someone searching for the next Hit for a diamante encrusted Country Superstar?
With that in mind (sadly) the mega-bouncy Tennessee is a sure fire radio hit surely? Preferably for Kailey herself; but it will do her bank balance no harm at all if Faith or Shania were to pick it up.
Kailey Nicole’s burgeoning talent shines throughout; but there are two really special songs here that are squabbling to be Our Favourite; I’m particularly taken by the acute observations and fiery rock of Country Love Song; but Mrs M ‘advises’ me that the rather lovely ballad Save Me For a Rainy Day is by far the best thing here and a Hit in the making ….. and as you all; know she’s ‘never wrong’. (#Sigh)
Coincidentally I’ve been listening to this around the time of The Grammys; now I’m not saying Kailey Nicole deserves such an Award; but I much prefer the excitement of discovering a new talent like hers; than any of the hoary old big label acts who peaked in the last century have to offer in 2020; if they have anything to offer at all.

Released January 24th 2020

James Hunter Six NICK OF TIME

The James Hunter Six
Nick of Time
Daptone Records

More Fabulous UnAmerican R&B Activities From Britain’s Finest Purveyor.

You don’t really need all of the fingers on one hand to count the number of British Rhythm & Blues artists who command world-wide respect, especially when it turns to universal acclaim and musical success.
James Hunter is one of the very few exceptions. He’s the *Essex boy who commenced his career over 30 years ago, originally as “Howlin’ Wilf and the Veejays;” and eventually reinventing himself as The James Hunter Six to take his ‘coals to Newcastle’ and making it big in the USA …… and beyond.
Nick of Time is his new album, the third on the renowned Daptone Record label, and contains 13 brand new self-penned songs; and once again production is by Grammy winning Bosco Mann (aka Gabe Roth) recorded in his Riverside Studios in California.
Overall it’s less frantic and much smoother than previous offerings, oozing with self-confidence, consistency and maturity. James is now backed by an ace band of top New York musicians, who are just as ‘sympathetic’ to James’ ‘groove’ as the original members; but it’s his unique smoky voice that has always drawn comparisons with legends of the genre, evolving nowadays into something that is something very special indeed.
Lead track “I Can Change Your Mind” kicks off in mid-tempo and sets the tone for what is to follow, then “Brother or Lover” provides a different take on an old conundrum whilst the super-smooth acoustic guitar and piano ballad “Paradise for One” shows James’ musical dexterity as it recalls the era that was dominated by the likes of Nat King Cole.
“Till I Hear it From You” is one of two numbers where we even get to hear James on harmonica, which is a special treat for fans of old; like myself and The Rocking Magpie.
Although lurve is the main subject matter, there are other options such as “Ain’t Going Up in One of Those Things” being a tongue in cheek take on the fear of flying.
However, the lyrics that made me smile most come from “Can’t Help Myself” where you’ll hear :-

If monkeys rule the planet, by 2902,
Will they have written Hamlet
Before I’ve gotten over you

Choosing a favourite wasn’t easy, as there’s not a dud track on the album, but if pushed I’ll suggest that “Missing in Action” with all it’s military type metaphors in the clever lyrics wins my vote, but on another day just about everything else will be a Favourite at one time or another.
All in all I see no reason why “Nick of Time” shouldn’t reach No. 1 spot on the USA Blues Charts, just like The James Hunter Six’s previous 2 albums.

Released March 6th 2020

Review by Jack Kidd (Radio DJ, Bon Vivant and part-time golf bandit).
*Essex; James is very proud of hailing from Colchester in this charming and quaint part of Southern England.


Ida Mae
Live in Memphis (EP)
Thirty Tigers

Whole Lotta Lovely Delta Blues.

Even though I loved Ida Mae’s ace debut album CHASING LIGHTS I never thought for one moment how succesful this ‘niche music’ would or could be.
So ……… in the middle of a World Tour they have recorded these 6 tracks and while an ‘Official Amazon Exclusive single Baby I Need a Driver was released last week; Chris and Steph are so excited by these songs, have convinced the record label to bash an EP out; even though ticket sales don’t need it.
They throw down an incendiary marker with opening track Boom, Boom, Boom …….. which is both raw and a Wall of Sound’ rolled into three sonic minutes that can change a life.
The mood slows down to what Ida Mae do best; Bone shaking, honest and passionate Blues from the South London Delta. If it wasn’t for Chris’s smooth voice you’d be convinced that this was straight from a sharecropper’s Juke Joint; but it’s not.
With barely a shaker and two strings on his acoustic guitar on Love Is Still a Long Road Ida Mae show why that debut album and their multitude of gigs in the last six months have garnered such high praise from those ‘in the know’.
If You Don’t Love me follows; and the Slide Guitar intro sounds quite menacing and when Chris’s brokenhearted vocals seep in first time listeners will instantly realise that they are listening to someone and something very special indeed.
I’ve seen a lot of acts like this over the years; with most ‘trying too hard’ to sound ‘authentic’; but Ida Mae somehow manage to sound very natural in this idiom; probably because their songs and complex song constructions come from the heart …….. and Soul?
Reaching returns to that impassioned ‘power’ of the opening track and had me reaching for the volume button on the stereo …… cranking it up to 8; even though I was listening on headphones. (Not done that since I was about 16!).
Then, of course there is Sick in Love which closes the disc.
These kids are professionals, so I shouldn’t be surprised that they have left ‘the best until last’ as everything has built and built to this magical song.
When the album came out there were a couple of lazy comparisons to The White Stripes (eek….. RMHQ was one!) …….. wrong, wrong and wrong.
If you’ve not heard of Ida Mae before imagine Led Zeppelin; or more importantly Page and Plant doing MTV Unplugged just before III was released ……… that’s how exciting Ida Mae are!

Released January 24th 2020

Sweet Lizzy Project TECHNICOLOR

Sweet Lizzy Project
Mono Mundo Recordings/Thirty Tigers

Classy Pop via Havana and East LA.

I first heard of these guys through their connection with the Mavericks, but musically the link isn’t immediately that obvious.
The opening song TECHNICOLOR, certainly lives up to its title, with a wide sweep of sounds – orchestral, rocky guitars, sound effects,electronic and even luscious Euro pop choruses.
“Turn up the radio” sounds less like the Cuban pop I initially expected and more like Scandinavian hit factory material and the relentless indie-pop continues on the following track “Ain’t nobody to call” with its My Sharona riff. The first non-English track is the more chilled and swinging “Tu Libertad;” which wouldn’t be out of place on a Camila Cabello album.
The Mavericks make an appearance halfway through the album, on “The Flowers in the Seed” which has the trademark Raul Malo vocals and a descending chiming guitar line reminiscent of “Oh what a crying shame”. Musically there’s another swerve with “What was happening to me” which is straight up radio-friendly pop followed by a tempo drop on “These words,” which strays into Nirvana unplugged territory, with a solo that is crying out for bedroom air-guitar. “Travel to the Moon” and “Vuelta Atrás” both sound like the Cure fronted by Katzenjammer, although neither are as jarring as that might at first sound.
The album finishes reflectively with “December 31st,” a big indie-pop melancholy ballad which is just perfect for daytime radio.
As titles go, TECHNICOLOR signals its intentions well – it’s got a huge, all over the place range that’s surprisingly cohesive. Its sights are firmly set on the mass pop and radio market though, and its not likely to find a natural home amongst the roots and Americana crowd, as entertaining as it is in parts.

Guest Review by Nick Barber
Released 21 February 2020.

John Borra BLUE WINE

John Borra
Blue Wine
Cousin Jeb Records

Quality Barroom, Foot Stompin’ Punk Infused Canadian Alt. Country.

John Borra’s Canadian version of alt-country owes a nod to punk rock and that’s a good thing.
It’s interesting to me, as someone who started out playing bass in punk rock bands before gravitating to fronting their own material with acoustic guitar in a folk-rock format (with a hint of country), how many others have gone that same route?  (John Borra played in punk bands in the 1980’s, and has played bass in multiple bands, now fronting an Alt-Country band. Apparently he also sidelines as an audio engineer when he’s not playing music, engineering and producing this album himself. Surprisingly, these are all things which I’ve also done! 
If I find out that he also writes music reviews for online blogs then our lives are indeed mysteriously mirroring one another for sure!)
Is there a sense of familiarity between punk and country that ties them intrinsically together?
Three chords and the truth apply equally, as does a sense of honesty and simple rawness, but there must be something more for artists as far apart as Florida, Toronto, New Zealand, and  Italy to come to similar musical conclusions. 
Whatever it is, John Borra seems to have found his way from punk rocker to Alt-Country frontman and is doing an admirable job of making it work.
Blue Wine, his first solo album since 2002, is equal parts poetic Honky Tonk and revved up Punkish barn burners. Backed by a band of musicians more than capable of pulling off whatever Borra throws at them, he sings his way through eleven well written songs that show off his distinctive voice to perfection. 
Borra’s lyrics sometimes leave a bit to be desired—his rhyming schemes would never be mistaken for Dylan’s or Cohen’s— but he makes up for it with uncompromising grit and a strong sense of melody. And complete props to the unexpected cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Foggy Notion.” Borra’s version keeps the fun urgency of the original and turns it on its head with a bit of barroom stomping and tasty piano. Speaking of that piano, eschewing lead guitar for the standout lead piano of Mike Boguski throughout this album was a wise and crucial decision too, as Boguski deliciously hammers and pounds his way through these tunes as if he owns them, bringing to mind John Cale’s frenzied piano on many of the tunes by the aforementioned Velvets.
“Americana” bands take note: It doesn’t always have to be pedal steel, mandolin, or chicken-pickin’ to set the right mood!
Other standout tracks on Blue Wine are “The Wars,” “Machu Picchu,” and the barroom romance of “Hambre and Dolores” which were all co-written with poet Eva H.D.
“Secret Time” is a sweet and fulfilling album closer, but “Way Back Home,” a duet with Dani Nash, who also wrote this fun, swinging tune, is the track you’ll go back to again and again.

Courtesy Guest Reviewer, The Legendary Roy Peak

Released February 13th 2020

Ben Poole Trio LIVE 19

Ben Poole Trio
Live 19

Young British Blues Rocker Comes of Age on Exciting Double Live Album.

Most regular readers know of my love of The Blues in just about every format imaginable; and also my desire to promote the great and the good among British exponents to the outside world, as well as those lonely men and women who haul their guitar case across the highways and by-ways: Plymouth on a Monday night, Aberdeen on a Tuesday and then Norwich on the Wednesday.
When I first came across Ben Poole he was just on the verge of leaving the latter category and is now firmly in the former camp being both a great singer-guitarist and a good guy.
I’m not normally a lover of Live Albums; especially in this category as it wouldn’t be the first time someone I admire for filling their studio albums full of 4 and 5 minute belters get a tad self-indulgent on-stage.
But; Guitar lovers and Rockers alike can be assured that there are more than enough guitar solos here to satisfy their cravings; but song lovers like me are indulged too, with Poole’s fine penmanship probably being allowed to overshadow his marvelous fretwork on most songs; even the 8, 11, 14 and 15 minute long tracks.
It’s no surprise that most of the tracks here come from his last two albums; as it was recorded in July 2019; but there are a couple of juicy oldies tucked away for the long serving fraternity.
Following a very brief intro the band get off to a growling start with Take It No More and already you know you are in for a treat.
Being a Live Album there’s a glorious rawness to many songs; with a personal favourite Win You Over now maturing like a fine wine and Found Out The Hard Way somehow seems even more intimate than the album version, to me.
Start The Car; from the same album really finds drummer extraordinaire Wayne Procter and bassist Steve Amadeo on fine form as Poole sings as if his heart could break at any moment.
That powerhouse duo are the spine that allows the singer-guitarist go meandering on Anytime You Need Me and Time Might Never Come which close the set; coming in at just shy of half an hour when played together; but even I haven’t got bored listening to them (yet).
Another elongated song is the exquisite cover of Have You Ever Loved a Woman; and I swear there’s not a wasted note from any of the trio in the 11 and a half minutes of transcendental Blues-Soul which builds and builds to a crashingly luxurious ending that had even me head-banging in the car!
Where to go for an actual Favourite Song?
Further On Down The Line is a doozy; as is his take on Jeff Healey’s I Think I Love You Too Much; which is another song Poole has allowed to grow and develop over the years; and Dirty Laundry now sounds like it’s fast becoming his Trademark song; but I’m going for Don’t Cry For Me; where the band come together as one and for me; it’s Poole’s finest vocal performance across two glorious albums of quality British Blues Rock that will not just surprise but impress American Blues fans (and promoters?)
The album was recorded over three nights in July 2019 at the Old Schoolhouse in Barnsley, The Half Moon in South London and Bootleggers in Kendal, Cumbria.

Released January 31st 2020
Pre-Order here http://benpooleband.com/product/trio-live-19-double-live-album-pre-order