Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton STARDUST SESSIONS E.P

Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton
Rounder Records

Good Old Fashioned Greasy Rock n Roll plus a Beautiful Ballad.

What a treat, just before Christmas …. three glorious new songs from the latest Duo on the block; Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton and the news that it’s a teaser for a new 10 track album in the same vein due out in Spring 2023.
The opening track; Vince Taylor’s Brand New Cadillac which my generation will associate with the Clash version; opens with the roar of a car engine then takes us on a 2 and a 1/2 minute Drag Race …. hardly letting us catch our breath as the couple drive straight into the dangerous part of town the Bruce balked at entering …. man is this a sexy song!
Enough pure damn greasy Rock & Roll to make your hair curl into a quiff!
This is followed by another 90mph Rocker; Magic Sam’s stonking Feelin’ Good, now taking it’s lead from the Stray Cats while channeling both Commander Cody AND The Ramones as Samantha and Jesse trade off each other vocally and guitar wise too!
Last but not least, we have I’ll Be Here in The Morning which is a surprise of monumental proportions as Samantha and Jesse go all out Country on Townes Van Zandt’s rather beautiful and sensitive ballad; making the very best out of two fabulous voices; and some real nifty acoustic guitar work too.
I’d have been truly devastated if this was all there was; but of course there is the promise of the Jon Spencer produced all new, 10 track DEATH WISH BLUES due out in Spring time.

Released December 2nd 2022


Rick Berthod TRIBUTE TO PETER GREEN (The Fleetwood Mac Years)

Rick Berthod
Tribute to Peter Green (The Fleetwood Mac Years)
Self Release

A Beautiful and Thoughtful Homage to a Forgotten Master Blues Guitarist.

Rick Berthod appears to have been around the American Blues scene forever, playing alongside and/or supporting most of the Legends in a career that has also produced 8 previous albums; and today he finds himself fronting the house band at The House of Blues in Las Vegas.
A couple of nights ago I was out with some ex-colleagues; all younger than me and mostly music fans. After a couple of pints I got mischievous; asking “who was the guitarist in Fleetwood Mac?”
To a man they agreed on Lindsay Buckingham; and when I asked the follow up; “Not Peter Green?” Their faces were left scrunched up, as they didn’t know who I was talking about …. although they had heard (of) Albatross.
Which is why this album is a) an oddity and b) essential listening for the younger generation.
OK there probably is a version of the legendary Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits floating around e-Bay; but Rick Berthod’s song selection and beautiful homage to a Master Guitarist is well worth checking out; and/or giving as a Christmas present.
Although the opening track, If You Be My Baby isn’t one of the better known tracks from this period; but the guitar playing is simply ‘liquid gold’ …. no; scrub that ….. ‘liquid platinum’ and it never leaves that trajectory all the way through to the finale Loved Another Woman.
The other thing about that opening song; is Berthod’s voice; beautiful yet melancholic and simply aching with the longing that these songs all conjure up.
When I was at senior school in the 70’s selecting and then defending your selection of Favourite Guitarist was a key part of the day; and while I was always a Rory Gallagher fan; Peter Green was always a great back up.
Coming back to the album and it’s contents; when I first scanned the track list my first thoughts were “does the world need another version of Black Magic Woman?”
Well; in this case … yes. Berthod slows it down to a feisty shuffle and after a minute or so you forget that Carlos Santana ever recorded his version; as this is short, sharp and timeless; with a vocal performance worthy of a Chicago speakeasy in the mid 60’s.
There a few songs here that I either can’t remember or have not heard before; but the sting in the tail that Rattlesnake Shake left me was staggering; and if I’d heard Stop Messing Around in a ‘blind tasting’ I’d have sworn it was from John Mayall’s ‘Beano’ album, featuring the best guitar playing Eric Clapton ever managed.
The Peter Green Classics are all here of course; and are all played with loving care and not a note out of place; most notably on the sublime Need Your Love So Bad (with additional Prof Longhairesue piano interludes) and Oh Well; which both benefit from Berthod’s distinctive world weary vocals; which puts a new spin on them; as they now sound like the original youngster, looking back on life in 2022.
Albatross is …. well…. Albatross; spellbinding of course; and had to be included, but no one is ever, ever going to compete with Green on his Masterwork, will there?
On an album like this I always look for something unexpected as a Favourite Track; and here there are another two songs that I have no memory of and both stopped me dead in my tracks as I tried to do some paperwork.
Jumpin’ At Shadows is heartbreakingly beautiful and with hindsight; sounds as if it was written many years after Green left The Mac, as it sounds like a love story to the man himself; and there are times the guitar playing brought tears to my eyes the first time I played it.
The other, in the tie; is the majestic Driftin’ … which fits in somewhere between Hank B Marvin, Clapton and Joe Bonamassa in the guitar stakes (remember what I said about ‘liquid platinum’ …. but here it’s the actual song; Blues so dark it’s almost black that I’ve fallen in love with!
It’s a Peter Green ‘original’ but I’m pretty damn sure he was immersing himself in BB Kings older albums before writing it.
So; my overall thoughts? I like it …. a lot; mostly because of Berthold’s lovely and ‘lived in’ vocals sufficiently different from Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac’s ‘originals’ to make it well worth recommending … esp if you know a young person (under 50 hahaha) who doesn’t know who Peter Green was.

Released October 29th 2022


RMHQ Radio Show Ep28 @NovaRadioNE

RMHQ Radio Show
Episode 28
Nova Radio NE

13th November 2022

The ‘theory’ behind my radio show is meant to be like when we were teenagers, sitting in bedrooms or schoolyards talking about and sharing music.
I could reasonably easily do a weekly two hour show made up of solely New Music from across the Roots Music world; but I like mixing it up with Classic tracks and older songs you may or may not know from the past too.

Pete MolinariLest We Forget
Beth Neilsen ChapmanWalk You To Heaven
Dave ArcariTexicali Waltz
Liz JonesBounty
Daniel MeadeGood Heart Gone Astray
West on ColfaxThe Desert Lives Outside The City
Marianne FaithfulTower of Song
Amelia WhiteSaid It Like a King
David OlneyTwo Bit Hood
Larkin PoeGeorgia Off My Mind
Holy Moly and The CrackersHot Red
Jeffrey FoucaultOne Red Rose
Errol LintonStressed Out
Jason IsbellTour of Duty
Peach & QuietCalgary Skyline
Kenny FosterPoor Kids
Anna LavigneFoolish Heart
Fred HostetlerHe’s Gone Rogue
Giant SandChange Is Now
The Williams BrothersDeath of a Clown
Dr FeelgoodPut your money where your mouth is
Rolling StonesRoute 66
Twangtown TroubadoursWhoa Nellie
Mary GauthierI Drink
Terra Spencer & Ben CaplanGood Friends
Malcolm HolcombeMisery Loves Company
Leonard CohenBird on a Wire
Hurray For the Riff RaffWhat’s Wrong With Me?
Jay and the CooksFrontline Worker Blues
Kris KristoffersonYou Don’t Tell Me What To Do.

Dr Feelgood DAMN RIGHT

Dr Feelgood
Damn Right
Proper Records

A Primo Legacy Well Worthy of Their Canvey Island Originators

I have a dichotomy here.
I was a huge fan of the original Dr. Feelgood …. the one with Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, Big Figure and John B Sparks; buying LP’s, singles and even a Bootleg cassette or two. Even after Wilko left and was replaced by Gypie Mayo; they were second to none on stage … although the albums weren’t that memorable.
In fairness, they were still a formidable force Live when only Lee from the original band was left; although it was apparent the last time I saw him/them all was not well health wise.
Sadly Lee died in 1995 …. which should have been the end of Dr. Feelgood as a brand; but various incarnations have continued thrilling and pleasing fans all over Europe in the last 25 years; although not me … until now.
With all that in mind I certainly had mixed emotions a month ago when this album of ‘self-penned original songs’ arrived at RMHQ.
I left it where I could see it on my desk for 4 or 5 days; then in a moment of weakness or should that be intrigue; I slid it into the CD Player and waited expectantly ….. I don’t know what for exactly? On principal I think I wanted to hate it; but hey …. do you know what? Don’t Pull Your Punches, which opens the album was far, far better than I’d ever dared hope!

Singer, Robert Kane makes no pretence at sounding like Lee; nope …. he’s certainly comfortable in his own talents and fair play to him; he’s a cracking British R&B singer (in the mould of a young Michael Phillip Jagger!) and the band can all hold their heads high too.
The band stick to the tried and trusted British R&B template; and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that at all; as you will find when you hear the fizzing Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Inside Out and the horny as hell; Mary Ann too.
You don’t have to forget the band’s name to enjoy DAMN RIGHT!, as all the constituent parts are here; Gordon Russell’s feisty guitar playing is as good as Gypie Mayo in full flight, while drummer Kevin Morris and bas-player deluxe Phil H Mitchell keep time like a military band; never allowing the other two the opportunity to get carried away …. this is Classic R&B at its best!
Speaking of which the band even have the audacity to add a fabulous instrumental , Last Call as a finale …. with a subtle call and response HEY! chorus which I’ve accidentally found myself joining in with on recent car journeys.
While I don’t own all of the Lee Brilleaux era latter day releases (stopping with the less than fabulous Brilleaux) this incarnations songs are written constructed and arranged a lot stronger in every department; which no doubt comes from so many years on the road as a touring unit.

While there are no obvious singles here; there are still plenty to get your teeth into; and you wouldn’t feel short changed if they play this album from start to finish as a ‘first set’ then follow it with an hour or more of the Classics.
With that in mind; there are three songs that have really lodged themselves in my brain; so I’m torn between the Chicago infused Blues Me, Damn Right I Do! and the rolling and tumbling, I Need a Doctor as my Favourite Song here; and probably because I’m in the mood for some rambunctious and danceable R&B this morning I’m plumping for Dam Right I Do which I think Lee Brilleaux would have been plenty proud to belt out in the 100 Club.
I can’t think of a more vain accolade than I will be going to see Dr Feelgood for the first time since the mid 1980’s and it’s all because I want to here the band play these songs in concert.

Released November 4th 2022


RMHQ Radio Show Ep: 24 @NovaRadioNE

RMHQ Radio Show
Nova Radio NE
23rd October 2022

Sunday nights wouldn’t be the same without our eclectic mix of Roots Music; this week as well as Americana, Alt. Country and Folk I slid in some Australian songs and a couple of Cajun songs to spice things up.

Dr JohnMo’ Scosious
Bonnie RaittLove Me Like a Man
Dave ArcariDevil’s Left Hand
Wily Bo WalkerMotel Blues
Georgia ThunderboltsSpirit of a Working Man
Ward Hayden & The OutliersBad Time to Quit Drinking
SunjayDust My Broom
Taj MahalJohnny Too Bad
Chris IsaakHeart Shaped World
Elles BaileyThe Game
Corb LundRoughest Neck Around
Willie NileOne Guitar
Davina & The VagabondsMagic Kisses
JT & The CloudsI Have Heard Words
Brigid O’Neil & Neilson HubbardLive a Llittle Lie Oh.
Old CalifornioKnocking on Your Screen Door
Bobby DoveLike it or Not, I Love You
OxMiss Idaho
Karl BrodieMoonshine Dancin’
PJ O’BrienQueen of Broken Hearts
The Often HerdWhen the Big Lamp Shines
Ags ConnellySad Songs Forever
Jeremy PinnellI’m Alright Forever
Herman GuieeBon Ton Roula
Shorty Le BlancBoss Cajun
Grey DeLisleYou Only Live Twice
Sean RoweRabbit Hole
Robert LaneHomeworking
Tommy AtkinsIt Took a Woman


Erja Lyytinen
Waiting For the Daylight
Touhi Records

Another Huge Step on the Blues Rock Ladder to International Stardom

I grew up listening to a whole lot of Blues Rock; but eventually my tastes evolved and apart from an occasional album that would take me fancy, lost interest as what was billed as Blues Rock was invariably Rock with no discernable Blues anywhere to be seen or heard.
In recent years a few younger acts have come along who are putting the Blues before the Rock again; and one of my favourites is Finnish Superstar; Erja Lyytinen.
While she can more than match her contempories in the guitar playing stakes; her albums invariably place her singing and the songs up front and centre; which is exactly what I want.
This album starts with her recent single, Bad Seed and while it certainly merits being played at 8 or 9; the words in the song are captivating and the chorus is designed for A) Sing alongs in the car and B) Audience interaction at concerts.
Next out of the traps is Last Girl ….. and I’ve never heard Erja use her voice this way; hitting notes I didn’t know she can reach …. and the crunchy guitar licks in the background certainly add emphasis to the songs’ ‘message.’
Famed for her ‘slide guitar’ playing; this is to the fore on the ballad Never Really Had You; starting the song and being used intermittently to punctuate a heavy heartbreaker of a Rock Ballad.
This is followed by the crunchy guitars and skewed passion of Diamonds on the Road; which builds like a tropical storm until Erja unleashes her inner Hendrix towards the tattered and embattled ending.
I don’t know why, as I don’t intimately follow Ms. Lyytinen’s social media presence; but there sounds like a lot of heartbreak is in her life. That’s no real surprise in this particular Musical Genre; but listening repeatedly to Run Away and the quaintly titled Love Bites; they (and others) sound very personal and from the pits of her heart too.
For my actual Favourite Track; I’ve been torn between the rather beautiful, and lyrically intense ballad, End of The Music which closes proceedings and leaves the listener wanting ‘more’ …. which is always a good thing.
The other; and the title caught my attention long before I’d even played a single track thankfully lives up to the billing …… You Talk Dirty is a real low down and greasy Blues Love song that you wouldn’t be surprised if Beth Hart or Mike Zito picked up on; but I doubt either would pick out the nuances the way Erja does …. and her guitar playing on this 7 minute opus is Blues Rock Deluxe btw.
It’s fair to say Erja Lyytinen has dug deep for this album; everything here; especially the songwriting and her impressive guitar playing is more mature than on previous releases and this should be another stepping stone towards the International Stardom she deserves.

Erja Lyytinen – Vocals, Guitars, Violin, Keyboards
Harri Taittonen – Keyboards, Hammond
Tatu Back – Bass
Iiro Laitinen – Drums

Released October 7th 2022


Rory Gallagher DEUCE (50th Anniversary Edition Box Set)

Rory Gallagher
Deuce (50th Anniversary Edition Box Set)

“The man and album that changed my musical life” Johnny Marr

I only received this box set two weeks ago while I was away on holiday; and on my return had a host of single albums to wade through for review, so while I’ve been dabbling with these amazing (and occasionally mystifying) versions of songs from one of my favourite ever albums; and a ‘game changer’ for me, I’m not actually reviewing it here in the truest form.
‘Game Changer’?
Certainly; because this came out when I was +/- 14 and just discovering ‘Grown Up’ music; usually via my two elder brothers and their record collections.
In this case I distinctly remember my brother Melvyn returning home with this LP under his arm (possibly/probably in a JG Windows bag!) and immediatly placing it on the turntable in the family radiogram.
I sat transfixed for the three times he played it!

Move forward half a century; and I now own three other versions of my own and it is still a ‘go to’ alongside Blueprint every month or two… a timeless classic.

So; as I haven’t had time to review the multitude of ‘alternate takes’ and ‘live tracks’ here …. I will just let you have a gander at an abridged version of the Press Release.

When asked “How does it feel to be the best guitarist in the world,” Jimi replied: “I don’t know, why don’t you go and ask Rory Gallagher.”
Jimi Hendrix

The extensive celebratory release digs deep into the Rory Gallagher Archives and will include a new mix of the original album, twenty-eight previously unreleased alternate takes, a six-song 1972 BBC Radio ‘In Concert’, and seven Radio Bremen radio session tracks.
The package will contain a 64-page hardback book with a foreword by Johnny Marr of The Smiths, unseen images by the late Mick Rock, essays, and memorabilia from the album recording.
The 2CD and 3LP will be cut down versions from the deluxe box and there will be a special D2C 1LP of the “BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972.”

Released in November 1971, just six months after his eponymous solo debut, Rory Gallagher’s second album, Deuce, was the summation of all that he’d promised in the wake of Taste’s collapse.
Rory wanted to capture the feeling of a live performance, so he would look to record immediately after live concerts while keeping production to a minimum.

” As soon as I heard Cradle Rock, I was hooked. I thought, ‘This is what I want to be when I grow up.”
Joe Bonamassa

RELEASED September 30th 2022



CD 1

Used to Be – 50th Anniversary Edition
I’m Not Awake Yet – 50th Anniversary Edition
Don’t Know Where I’m Going – 50th Anniversary Edition
Maybe I Will – 50th Anniversary Edition
Whole Lot of People – 50th Anniversary Edition
In Your Town – 50th Anniversary Edition
Should’ve Learnt My Lesson – 50th Anniversary Edition
There’s a Light – 50th Anniversary Edition
Out of My Mind – 50th Anniversary Edition
Crest of a Wave – 50th Anniversary Edition

CD 2

Used to Be – Alternate Take 1
Used to Be – Alternate Take 2
I’m Not Awake Yet – Alternate Take 1
Don’t Know Where I’m Going – Alternate Take 1
Maybe I Will – Alternate Take 1
Maybe I Will
 – Alternate Take 2
Maybe I Will – Alternate Take 3
Maybe I Will – Alternate Take 4
Maybe I Will – Alternate Take 5
Whole Lot of People – Electric Alternate Take 1
Whole Lot of People – 6 String Acoustic Alternate Take 1
Whole Lot Of People
 – Deuce Album Session / Alternative Acoustic Take / 1971 *
Whole Lot of People
 – 12 String Acoustic Alternate Take 1
In Your Town
 – Alternate Take 1
In Your Town – Alternate Take 2
In Your Town – Alternate Take 3

CD 3

In Your Town – Alternate Take 4
Should’ve Learnt My Lesson – Deuce Album Session / Alternative Acoustic Take / 1971*
Should’ve Learnt My Lesson
 – Deuce Album Session Outtake / 1971*
Should’ve Learnt My Lesson – Alternate Take 2
Should’ve Learnt My Lesson – Alternate Take 3
There’s A Light – Alternate Take 1
There’s A Light – Alternate Take 2
There’s A Light – Alternate Take 3
Out of My Mind – Alternate Take 1
Out of My Mind – Alternate Take 2
Out of My Mind – Alternate Take 3
Crest of a Wave – Alternate Take 1
Crest of a Wave – Alternate Take 2
Don’t Know Where I’m Going – Home Demo
Maybe I Will – Home Demo
Should’ve Learnt My Lesson – Home Demo

CD 4

Should’ve Learnt My Lesson – Radio Bremen 21/12/1971
Crest of a Wave – Radio Bremen 21/12/1971
I Could’ve Had Religion – Radio Bremen 21/12/1971
For The Last Time – Radio Bremen 21/12/1971
Messin’ With The Kid – Radio Bremen 21/12/1971
Don’t Know Where I’m Going – Radio Bremen 21/12/1971
Pistol Slapper Blues – Radio Bremen 21/12/1971
Used To Be – BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972
Should’ve Learnt My Lesson – BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972
Out Of My Mind – BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972
I Could’ve Had Religion – BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972
Crest Of A Wave – BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972
Messin’ With The Kid – BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972

Paul Jones THE BLUES

Paul Jones
The Blues
Umbrella Music

A Fabulous Masterclass in British Blues

Paul Jones has been one of my favourite singers since my pre-teen years in the 1960’s with Manfred Mann; and even through his solo period before he launched The Blues Band one of my brothers had a solo album of his that I played regularly.
So; it was with more than a degree of excitement that I set about listening to this career spanning retrospective.
Even though I consider myself a ‘fan’ there’s still more than a few songs here that I either don’t know or have completely forgot over the last 50 years or so.
The first of these is opening track; the low down and mean old Blues missive; Without You; but with hindsight it really is as good a way to introduce Paul Jones and his diverse back catalogue as it not only showcases his majestic voice but his mastery of the harmonica too.
Personally I’d have liked the tracks to be in chronological order; but that’s a minor point and easily forgiven as the balance is actually nigh on perfect from start to finish.
His all too brief stint in Manfred Mann is represented by 5-4-3-2-1; and with not hearing it for decades has been an absolute blast; and I’d forgot how raw it actually was; and just may have been my own introduction to the joys of a well played Harmonica.
Of the other songs that I recognised from the first few bars, and essential additions to Paul Jones’ ‘story’ are the original Blues Band song which introduces the members one by one; I’m Your Kingpin (which was a mainstay of just about every bar band I heard in the 1970’s! and the Chicago infused It’s Got To Be The Blues which was another song that sent me down a musical rabbit hole many years ago.
Without pretending I know what I’m talking about, there a couple of songs here that are very much ‘of their time’ and the world would keep spinning if The Dog Presides, The Pod That Came Back and Choose Or Cop Out had been missed off here.
But there are more than enough diamonds that I’ve re-discovered like the raunchy Suddenly I Like It; the sensual Like Mother Like Daughter and Noah Lewis Blues to more than make up for those three.
Treating this retrospective as a Brand New Album makes choosing a Favourite Song a bit easier; as Paul’s ode to Sonny Boy Williamson is exciting beyond belief; and the finale; a sweet ballad, I’ll Be Home Again Tonight shows what a terribly underrated singer Paul Jones has been over the last 60 years.|
For the life of my I can’t place the rip-roaring stompers, Living For The Day and It Sure Feels Good; but I know them, yet neither appear to be anywhere in my collection; so I guess they must have impressed themselves on me in a live setting …. and if they has; then they both deserve their place as my Favourite Song here.
While this is meant to be a retrospective of his career … NO I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Boy or High Time?
I know Paul Jones is a multi Award winning British Blues Icon; but that still doesn’t stop him being underrated and undervalued by the music paying public at large; so it’s not too late for you to buy a copy for yourself and one for a friend who deserves to hear a bundle of fabulous British Blues sung by a Mastercraftsman.

Released September 30th 2022


RMHQ Radio Show Ep17 @NovaRadioNE Newcastle

RMHQ Radio Show Ep17
Sunday 4th September 2022

As usual I entered the studio with a playlist of 25 songs for tonight’s show; and due to a breakdown in communications the first four songs hadn’t been added to the Nova Supercomputer (probably my fault) …. so it really was a ‘Seat of the pants production’ finding a song/act that’s good enough to start the show ….. up stepped Robert Plant & Allison Krauss to save the day!
The rest of the show came together quite neatly, with 14 of the original choices making it onto the final set-list for once.
Yet again it’s an eclectic mix of Roots Music in all its glory, with old acts rubbing shoulders with bright young things releasing their first ever singles and/or albums … and the biggest surprise for you will be a Brass Band closing the show with the Coal Miner’s hymn; Gresford. (I have my reasons).

See you next week same place and same time 6pm @NovaRadioNE deep in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Robert Plant & Alison KraussIt Don’t Bother Me
Larkin PoeGeorgia off my mind
Dale WatsonTruck Stop at La Grange
Charley CrockettSkip a Rope
PronghornShady Grove
Lynne HansonLe Bon Moment
North Mississippi AllstarsBumpin’
American AquariumSaturday Night
Emily Duff BandSomething Sexy
Daniel MeadeMy Father’s Son
Courtney Marie AndrewsSomeone Else’s Fault
George BoomsmaSoaking Southern Town
John FullbrightForgotten Flowers
My Darling ClementineTear Stained Smile
Richard ThompsonWall of Death
Lucinda WilliamsDriving Down a Dead End Street
Waylon ThibadeauxOur Life Is Another Blues Song
Arthur ‘Big Boy ‘ CruddupMean Ole Frisco Blues
Grainne DuffyVoodoo Blues
Hound Dog TaylorRoll Your Moneymaker
Anna AshSgt. Pepper
Father John MistyFun Times in Babylon
Mariel BuckleyWhatever Helps You
Birds of ChicagoSugar Dumplin’
Malcolm HolcombeTricks of the Trade
Blue Moon MarqueeHound Dog on a Chain
Stephen FearingEvery Soul’s a Sailor
Chely WrightBack of The Bottom Drawer
Laura Benitez & The HeartacheGod Willing and The Creek Don’t Rise
The Unthanks & Brighouse and Rastrick Brass BandGresford

Taylor Scott Band THE HANG

Taylor Scott Band
The Hang
Shade Tree Recordings / JTM Music

Plenty of Rhythm, a Hefty Dash of Blues, an Equal Measure of Raw Country Plus a Shot of Smooth Jazz.

Taylor Scott’s new album opens with “Leaning Tree,” an easy, rhythmic strum, a subtle shimmering B3 organ and the declarative statement
Losing track of time has always been a friend of mine.
To compare this with a water birth might not be where the average listener would go, but I’m not the average listener and this song is deceptively effortless. 
The struggle in these lyrics is palpable; while the music is upbeat and optimistic and made me start the tune over 6 times (Yes, I kid you not)! 
I was not prepared for the visceral reaction my body produced to this tune but the minor chord at the end really sums it up.
It was after the 6th listen of track one that I was able to move on and the troubling thoughts I birthed under the metaphorical water might have slipped out without effort; but believe me, there was pain, and every mother will tell you, that’s what we call “good pain.” 

TMI? Perhaps, but here I am on track two, “Last Winter,” and Taylor Scott literally ends the song by telling me it’s time to “let that go.”
So I do and get wrapped up in a blanket of “Throwback Grooves” that feels sweet and comfortable and conjures carefree summer breezes and salty ocean air. 
A sexy, rhythm and bluesy, slow jam with a horn solo that transports me back to a kinder, gentler time. “It’s all about the way it feels….
I’m swinging and my happy feet are dancing with toes planted firmly in 1972. 
Thank you, Taylor Scott. I needed that.

A Road-House stomp in a minor key follows with impending doom that goes from straight up Country to an Art Jazz interlude with great effect.
I was mesmerized by the diversity of this tune and it’s dedication to letting the song take you on a trip without luggage. 

“Bleeding Out” is a Funky Blues that’s traditional and summons Scott’s guitar talents to a degree that puts him up there with Stevie Ray and makes it obvious that he spent some time on the road as part of Otis Taylor’s band.

“Shade Tree American Dream” feels like the best of Dwight Yoakam with less sugary frosting squirted through the corporate Nashville hose.  The breakdown in the middle is unexpected and sits like a nugget of fresh air that opens the track up in a way that feels almost psychedelic a la Sturgill Simpson.

“Talk to Me” dares to meld Smooth Jazz with American Roots and I felt myself smiling at Taylor’s honesty and sincerity in this particular song.
He follows it up with “Never Aim to Please” which he plays and sings with grit and regret. 
Tinged with just the right amount of fuzz, this song evokes a familiar Whiskey Town vibe with outro guitar solo that makes it a serious driving, radio flyer!

“Really Something” is ….. Really Something!
This song takes the Blues and puts it firmly into a warm bath of distorted Pop Music that energizes and delves deep into Soul music as it modulates up and reaches for the blue skies of exaltation.   

Ending the record with the title track, “The Hang” burns it all down with a rocking Blues mover that gets the hips shaking and returns us to that Dwight meets Sturgill vibe done the Taylor Scott way with “nowhere to be and plenty places to go” with B3 organ and guitar solos that carry us off to join the party. Produced by long time Los Lobos member, Steve Berlin, Taylor Scott’s “The Hang” is the most enjoyable 39 minute “hang” I’ve had in a long while!

Released August 12th 2022
Review by Emily Duff