Classic Album Review: The Electric Light Orchestra – “Face The Music” (1975)

ELO Face The Music

The Electric Light Orchestra’s fifth album, “Face The Music” is one of the most underrated in their catalogue. It’s curiously out of place between “Eldorado” (1974) and “A New World Record” (1976) mainly because it appears to return to a slightly rawer sound than the carefully polished fourth and, most notably, Bev Bevan’s drums are not only are very high in the mix but he also appears to have been given creative license to cut loose in a way that hadn’t been heard on record since his days in The Move. This results in a very powerful sound, with a heavier rock feel to the whole project and an altogether much more “in your face” punch to the music. This release also marked bassist and backing vocalist Kelly Groucutt’s début with the band, as well as new cellist Melvyn Gale, replacing the two Mikes (de Alberquerque and Edwards). Unlike “Eldorado”, “Face The Music” is very much a straight forward rock album, albeit with Jeff’s classical/orchestral fusion ethos and each track a separate entity, with Jeff given the freedom to write about exactly what he wanted without having to fit in to any particular concept. “Face The Music” spawned the UK top ten hit “Evil Woman” (as well as minor, but equally worthy, hit “Strange Magic”) and became the best selling ELO album to date, but often seems to be overlooked when the best of the band’s work is discussed amongst fans.

One of the aces up the sleeve of “Face The Music” is the creepy opening instrumental “Fire On High”, five and a half minutes of sheer genius, with superb lead guitar work from Jeff, magnificent Bev Bevan drum fills that definitely get the adrenaline pumping and inspired string arrangements; it remains one of the finest ELO tracks that “greatest hits” buyers constantly miss out on. The sublime “Waterfall” is a work of immense beauty, the classic falling chord progression giving the composition a masterful classical air and the instrumental bridge with the sweeping, swirling strings and thumping toms adds some further dramatic flair. “Evil Woman”, a stomping slice of piano-driven rock was an obvious single and, with the exception of “Showdown” was the most commercial song Jeff had written for ELO up to that point. Sharp, slick, catchy; “Evil Woman” was the beginning of the era of ultra-radio-friendly Electric Light Orchestra songs. Ending side one of the original vinyl record is the excellent and classy “Nightrider” (a small tribute to Jeff’s first band The Nightriders) which, although also released as a single, failed to chart.

Side two begins with a frantic, uncharacteristically heavy track, “Poker”, using the card game as a metaphor, and is notable for Kelly Groucutt’s lead vocal, as well as some truly insane drumming from Bevan; it’s a breathless performance and really rather thrilling to listen to. “Strange Magic”, a dreamy composition, with a chorus that highlights a phased acoustic guitar, continues the classy feel of the album which only dips slightly for “Down Home Town”, a jokey number with a bit of a country hoe-down influence which feels a little out of place compared to the rest of the record. It’s a likeable, pleasant enough toe-tapper, but it is, without doubt, the weakest offering here. The original album concludes with “One Summer Dream”, a composition that shares many of its characteristics with “Waterfall”, but is the lesser of the two tracks, meaning that “Face The Music” finishes not quite as convincingly as it begins. It is, on the whole, an excellent album, though, and none of the songs are any less than highly enjoyable, with three quarters of the music being really rather exceptional.

The re-issue of this album includes an alternative “Fire On High” intro which, although historically interesting, isn’t something fans will want to listen to again and again, but the alternative mix of “Evil Woman” is different enough to be well worth a listen (according to the liner notes, Jeff prefers it to the original), you get the US single mix of “Strange Magic” and a rather wonderful instrumental version of “Waterfall” which showcases the majesty of the string section behind the soaring melody. It is a piece of music so beauteous and stirring , it featured heavily at my wedding service as the piece of music playing while the guests were waiting for the ceremony to begin (I think that underlines how this particular writer feels about Jeff Lynne’s music!). To me, “Face The Music” is a milestone in Jeff’s songwriting abilities and having the skill and confidence to truly project his own voice. Although Lynne’s love of The Beatles manifests itself here as a single line in “Evil Woman” (“There’s a hole in my head where the rain comes in”), it would be very difficult to pinpoint any real Beatles influence to the melodies or arrangements, with Jeff stamping his distinct style and personality well and truly on this record. Indeed, “Face The Music” is an excellent rebuttal to any lazy musical commentator who dismisses Lynne as a Beatles copyist and proves to be another fine example of his musical genius. Arguably, the best was yet to come, but this album is a criminally underrated gem in the ELO catalogue and stands alongside their very best releases quite comfortably.

*****

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Classic Album Review: The Electric Light Orchestra – “Eldorado” (1974)

ELO Eldorado

“Eldorado” was the moment in The Electric Light Orchestra’s history when Jeff Lynne really raised his game. Leaving behind the multi-tracked cellos and strings of earlier recordings, a full thirty-piece orchestra, arranged by and under the baton of Louis Clark, were utilised for the first time to fully realise Jeff’s rock-orchestra dream. Subtitled “A Symphony By The Electric Light Orchestra”, “Eldorado” is an undoubtedly ambitious project which is also a concept album in the loosest terms; it has a distinct thematic beginning and end, recurring musical themes throughout as well as links between tracks. The concept is that all the songs are the result of one person’s dreams, an escape from their mundane life into an ideal, fantasy world, but, lyrically, there isn’t a particular story to follow or enough continuity to convincingly bind the theme together. Still, the album certainly feels and sounds convincing as a coherent, flowing piece of work on a surface level and Lynne’s production skills on “Eldorado” had improved dramatically compared to his previous studio album (“On The Third Day”), from just a year before. This was the game changer, the record on which the ELO sound, enhanced by the masterful Louis Clark arrangements, most casual listeners recognise was born.

The album begins with the “Eldorado Overture”, a rather grand, dramatic piece of music which includes a spoken word introduction (voiced by Peter Forbes-Robertson) prior to a brass and string symphonic phrase that repeats and is built upon to fuel the the musical anticipation, after which the piece explodes into waves of cascading, energetically-bowed strings and crashing percussion before seguing beautifully into “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head”, a sublime, dreamy ballad with lyrics as gorgeous as the melody and the solitary hit single from this album. After an instrumental interlude which features a fanfare playing musical questions and answers, we are treated to “Boy Blue”, a bright, upbeat, catchy piece with a extremely pleasing pizzicato section that tells the tale of a heroic, full-blooded character from an age gone by. After that, the heavy “Laredo Tornado”, which boasts a powerful, bluesy guitar riff, an impressive vocal performance from Jeff and choral “woo”s that could have been lifted from The Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus” adds a darker texture to the album. A similar musical character that features in the “Eldorado Overture” reappears in “Poor Boy (The Greenwood)”, an uplifting, up-tempo song which references the legend of Maid Marian in the Robin Hood story. This song ends with a reprise of the cascading strings from the Overture, bringing side one of the original vinyl version to a stirring, exhilarating close.

Jeff Lynne’s Beatles influences are almost a little too obvious on “Mister Kingdom” which borrow both musical phrases and lyrics from Lennon’s “Across The Universe”, but the songwriter just about manages to give the composition enough originality to distract from the similarities. Although it certainly has a rather formidable, rousing ending it is fair to say that it is probably the weakest point of the whole project, whereas “Nobody’s Child” is nothing less than delightful; this moody shuffle with a tremendous Richard Tandy piano solo where the protagonist dreams of being seduced by an older woman is packed full of sexual overtones and melodrama. More musically basic, but still very effective, is “Illusions In G Major”, which sees Jeff writing a slightly amended 12-bar blues song, but with the orchestral backing and an electrifying guitar solo, it manages to be much more than the sum of its parts. The album’s title track, “Eldorado”, with the soaring Jeff Lynne vocal, swelling strings and haunting choral section brings the story to a close, with the dreamer waking up to his real life and longing to get back to his Eldorado (a golden city, rich with jewels and finery in Spanish mythology). The “Eldorado Finale”, with the same dramatic flourish as it began, albeit with a fuller sound, brings a remarkably ambitious and wonderfully creative piece of work to a magnificent close.

“Eldorado”, like previous ELO releases, saw a few personnel changes with Mike de Alberquerque quitting very early on in the album’s recording, leaving Jeff to play the majority of the bass parts and the introduction of Hugh McDowell on cello, paving way for the stable “classic ELO line-up”, many people’s enduring idea of who the Electric Light Orchestra were. The re-released, remastered version with the “Eldorado Instrumental Medley” is well worth having, as the extended sequence of music, without the vocals, reveals quite splendidly just how intricate and creative the instrumentation and arrangements are. Although this album is extremely enjoyable and the vision behind its creation and realisation has to be acknowledged and admired, it is also true that the songs aren’t, as a whole, as strong as they are on many other ELO albums. The conceptual nature of “Eldorado” led to many storytelling narratives, steeped in history and folklore, which makes them a little more difficult to form an emotional attachment to, unlike the majority of Jeff’s greatest songs. Arguably, the best tracks here (“Can’t Get It Out Of My Head”, “Laredo Tornado”, “Nobody’s Child” and “Eldorado”) are the ones to which the listener can relate to with the heart as well as the mind, but this doesn’t lessen the highly artistic nature of the whole production nor make the music throughout the album any less crafted or aesthetically delightful. At the time, this, ELO’s fourth album, was quite clearly the most accomplished record in their catalogue and still sounds rather impressive forty years later.

****

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Classic Album Review: The Electric Light Orchestra – “On The Third Day” (1973)

ELO On The Third Day UK

“On The Third Day”, Jeff Lynne’s first album as the sole songwriter and leader of the Electric Light Orchestra, is one of my very favourite records in the ELO catalogue. The influence of The Beatles is extremely heavy, especially during the first four tracks which are arranged and sequenced to make a continuous suite of songs. That said, it is a slightly uneven record, feeling like an album of two halves with the newer material at the start of the album (the first four tracks feature their then new violinist, Mik Kaminski) with some remaining material from the “ELO 2” sessions being used to fill side two. The the single “Showdown” was slotted in at the end of side one on the US release (and then on subsequent UK re-releases) and, thanks to repeated plays and familiarity, has become as much part of the album as the rest of the songs. In fact, my original copy of this album, bought when in was in my mid-teens, was a US import which featured both “Showdown” and the infamous “bellybutton” cover. Thankfully, the quality throughout is excellent, so even though there may be a slightly different feel to the two halves of the album, it works very well as a whole, with the only questionable inclusion being the slightly superfluous version of Grieg’s “In The Hall Of The Mountain King”.

Compositionally, “On The Third Day” is extremely strong. The four concurrent songs which were, as a whole, a continuous piece of music filling side one of the original LP entirely, were, arguably, Jeff Lynne’s most accomplished piece of work right up until that point in time and they still sounds rather brilliant several decades later. There is so much bombast and drama in the astonishing first piece, “Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe” that it immediately grabs the listener’s attention before the music effortlessly segues into the gorgeous Beatlesque “Bluebird Is Dead”, a song featuring a chorus that builds so beautifully, the release is close to orgasmic, and a fantastic backwards guitar solo. “Oh No, Not Susan” is a sublime, melodic piece of melancholia, describing the life of a rich, but lonely and alienated, woman and the final piece in the four song suite is the magnificent “New World Rising/Ocean Breakup (reprise)”, which boasts breathtaking tumbling and cascading instrumental interludes as well as a wonderful Mik Kaminski violin solo. One of ELO’s classic singles, “Showdown” proves an added bonus sandwiched in between what was side one and two on the original record and is one of those magical, timeless Jeff Lynne songs it is extremely difficult to tire of listening to.

On The Third Day US

The instrumental “Daybreaker” kicks off what used to be side two of the record and, boy, what a fantastic piece of music it is. Exciting and exhilarating, it utilised Richard Tandy’s sparkling synthesisers alongside Wilf Gibson’s terrific violin work and a brilliant Bev Bevan drumming performance. “Ma Ma Ma Belle” is one of the most convincing rockers in Jeff’s repertoire and the (uncredited) addition of Marc Bolan on guitar and has that incredible full sound that made the rock/orchestra fusion such a thrilling combination. Also recorded with Bolan, the sensational “Dreaming Of 4000”, with all the splendour of its driving strings and paranoid lyrics, is probably the most overlooked track on the album and certainly has one of the most remarkable crescendos and climaxes of any song Jeff has written. Finishing the album is the aforementioned “In The Hall Of The Mountain King” which, admittedly, is the most dispensable track on the album, but is really quite enjoyable to listen to, especially when Bev’s drums announce their presence with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It’s certainly not bad, but it simply doesn’t fit in to an album with, otherwise, such a brilliantly creative programme of songs.

ELO’s third album heralds the beginning of the Electric Light Orchestra sound as most mainstream fans would come to subsequently recognise them. Although the sheen and polish isn’t quite there on this release, the shorter, classical-influenced pop songs are far more recognisable as being similar to the style of Lynne’s later output than the prog-rock aspirations of the first two studio albums. The compositions are still extremely ambitious and the arrangements shine with their exuberance and flamboyance, but the baroque experimentations of the first two albums are well and truly left behind on this pivotal moment in the band’s history. The sawing cellos, slightly scratchy live strings sound and, as great as the vocal performances are, the slight harshness of the vocal track all suggest that Jeff was still honing his craft as producer. That said, I absolutely love the way this album sounds; the performances have so much life and character to them and the strings play such a major part in the vitality and appeal of “On The Third Day”, I wouldn’t want to hear it any other way.

*****

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Classic Album Review: The Electric Light Orchestra – “ELO 2” (1973)

ELO 2

If you are a relative newcomer to ELO or have only heard albums such as “A New World Record” or “Out Of The Blue”, then “ELO 2” may come as a little bit of a shock to you the first time you hear it, especially if you’re expecting the album to be anything like the solitary hit single, “Roll Over Beethoven”. It’s almost a completely different sound from the radio friendly Electric Light Orchestra mainstream radio listeners will have come to know and expect. Jeff’s vocals are raw and more difficult to understand, the instruments sound relatively untouched by the later lush production values Jeff became renowned for and this album is so eclectic, it’s very difficult to categorise. You can call it experimental, wacky, classical-influenced prog-rock if you like (that’s the nearest I can come to when attempting to describe it), but it’s probably best not to try to fit this album into any genre. In fact, the only album to sound anything like it is the début album by ELO, although the first ELO album has far more of a Roy Wood feel to it than this one… with good reason.

Owing to differences of opinion as to what direction the band should take, Roy Wood left ELO not long after the preparation for this album started and so Jeff Lynne was left to finish it by himself, with the aid of his newly assembled band mates, including Richard Tandy on keyboards, Mike de Albuquerque on bass, Wilfred Gibson on Violin, as well as cellists Colin Walker and Mike Edwards. What resulted from those sessions were five tracks (the shortest one weighing in at six minutes and fifty-one seconds) mostly recorded live in the studio with minimal overdubs, owing to the band’s close understanding with each other gained during their numerous live dates prior to the recording sessions, and they are, pretty much, all magnificent. “In Old England Town (Boogie No. 2)” is a moody, powerful, heavy rock number which highlights the gloriously scratchy cellos and has a mildly pessimistic but very inventive lyrical theme. “Momma…” is a sad song with truly beautiful music telling the story of a lonely girl travelling far from home, lamenting the loss of her Mother.

“Roll Over Beethoven” is a brilliantly overblown, seven minute version of the Chuck Berry composition with a bit of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony thrown in for good measure. It’s simply a great moment in rock and roll and, in my opinion, the definitive version of that song. “From The Sun To The World (Boogie No. 1)” is a multi-sectioned, lyrically-apocalyptic piece of mercurial genius which starts off reminiscent of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” only to then get gradually heavier, eventually featuring a fantastic boogie-woogie piano part guaranteed to get every listener’s head nodding and toes tapping. The last song on the original album, “Kuiama”, at just over eleven minutes, is an ambitious piece telling of the emotional cost of war. I have to admit to finding the album difficult to criticise; it is a beautifully creative, darkly brilliant piece of work, part-rock, part-classical, completely original. In this writer’s opinion, this is a more accomplished piece of work than their début, primarily owing to the fact that Lynne’s was able to gain complete artistic control and, as a result, there is a flow and coherence to “ELO 2” which the admirably creative yet deeply uncommercial début slightly lacked.

This was the last album to be made in the spirit of the same kind of experimental ethos the The Electric Light Orchestra was specifically formed for. Beyond their second album, Jeff largely returned to the kind of shorter, more conventional pop-rock songs he had written before teaming up with Roy, albeit retaining the classical influence and the orchestral theme. Wood’s influence can still be felt on “ELO 2” and he appears, uncredited, on two tracks (“In Old England Town” and “From The Sun To The World”), playing cello and bass. Without Wood’s early influence, this could have been a considerably difference affair, but the complex, long arrangements which were a feature of ELO’s first album continued to be fully embraced and realised by Lynne. It is debatable, however, whether this would have happened if not for Roy, so it could be argued that his final contribution to the group was helping shape and influence this stand-alone, unique helping of grandiose, ambitious art-rock. Regardless of how it began, the album ended with Jeff very much at the helm of the ELO ship and the group ready to be moulded in his creative vision, with the re-birth of The Electric Light Orchestra and their more popular sound poised to emerge.

*****

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Classic Album Review: The Electric Light Orchestra – “The Electric Light Orchestra (No Answer)” (1971)

ELO No Answer

“The Electric Light Orchestra”, or “No Answer” as it was known in the USA (thanks to the miscommunication when trying to contact the UK record label for the album’s title) is quite a misunderstood album. I have seen some fans of Jeff Lynne’s later, more commercial, works brand this and the follow-up (“ELO 2”) as unlistenable, which is deeply unfair to the craft and creativity that shines from the fledgling band’s début album and, in my opinion, quite untrue. While there are certainly tracks that challenge the listener’s resolve and while this is certain the most left-field, out there album to be released under the ELO moniker, you really don’t have to look far to find plenty to love, as well as examples of the kind of songwriting that made Jeff Lynne’s band such a humongous success later on in the decade. This, their first record, was the only studio album made as a collaboration between founders Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, before the latter left after disagreements regarding the direction of the band, and it is fair to say that it is the least focused, most experimental piece of work in the Electric Light Orchestra catalogue. However, this also means that it is one of the most striking and interesting works and those interested in the genesis of the band and the place it has in the evolution of Jeff and Roy’s composition from will, most likely, enjoy the vast majority of the music on offer here. Admittedly, any listener’s first foray into early ELO if they are used to the carefully polished later output is going to come as a bit of a shock to the senses, but the trick is to persevere.

Lynne’s “10538 Overture”, the first track and the band’s début single, announces the album in a big way. The famous guitar riff (if you can call it a riff, it’s more like a picked chord progression) provides a big fat hook for the a quasi-classical, dramatic piece about escaped prisoner 10538 which boast a cacophony of sawing, rasping strings, brass and rather beauteous instrumental interludes. It’s a rather magnificent start to the proceedings and, had the whole album been similar, it would probably have been a very successful and critically acclaimed piece of work. However, ELO, at this point, was a deliberately experimental outfit existing alongside The Move and, as such, was an outlet for Roy and Jeff to stretch their personal compositional boundaries and both “Look At Me Now” (Wood) and “Nellie Takes Her Bow” (Lynne) are distinctly uncommercial but both extremely interesting and likeable. Wood’s “The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644)” is the track that, famously, drummer Bev Bevan refused to play on, given his poor opinion of the song, but the adventurous structure, instrumentation and almost purely classical leanings point to a piece that was never likely to be particularly appreciated by the mainstream rock ‘n’ roll crowd and deserves a fair re-appraisal instead of the running joke amongst ELO fans it appears to have become.

Roy’s “First Movement (Jumping Biz)” is an immensely enjoyable and often overlooked “Classical Gas”-type classical-infused instrumental with the guitar taking centre stage and Bevan being allowed to cut loose on the drums, adding a bit of power and fluid flair to the music. One of the clear highlights of the album is Jeff’s exquisitely melancholy “Mr. Radio”. The rippling piano, the classical interludes, Jeff’s longing vocals over a Beatlesque melody; this is an early Electric Light Orchestra classic. Leonard Bernstein seems to be one of the major influences on “Manhattan Rumble (49th Street Massacre)”, a bold, piece of instrumental music which also features pieces of jaunty whimsy and, although not the greatest thing on offer here, is never less than pleasurable to listen to. “Queen Of The Hours”, also written by Jeff, is like a great song struggling to escape from a pre-conceived concept, but the lyrics and verse melody are undeniably gorgeous and it remains one of the songs I most enjoy listening to, although I’d struggle to pinpoint why. The album concludes with Roy Wood’s “Whisper In The Night” which, although extremely pretty and tremendously pleasant on the ear, appears to be a re-write of popular hymn “Amazing Grace”.

In all honesty, I cannot say that “The Electric Light Orchestra” is a classic album, nor do I think that the many flashes of brilliance and unfettered creativity, as well as Wood’s astonishing multi-instrumental talents, completely overshadows the rather unfocused and slightly indulgent nature of the whole project, but it is most certainly an incredibly underrated and overlooked collection of songs. Rather like the classical pieces it is partly inspired by, it is a record that requires the listener to play it many times before a full appreciation of the intricacies and the touches of genius become apparent. I don’t believe that ELO’s début requires context, as such, but if you listen to The Move’s last couple of albums “Looking On” (1970) and, especially, “Message From The Country” (1971), it will all become perfectly apparent where this album fits in in the history of the bands and is, in essence, the “missing link” between The Move and The Electric Light Orchestra. Listening to this album, when compared with Jeff Lynne’s later output, also provides a credible explanation, without much further evidence needed, of why Roy and Jeff had to go their separate ways to fully realise their own musical ambitions. This album is, however, profoundly more than a mere historical curio. No, “The Electric Light Orchestra” is a rather glorious meeting of strong, creative minds, but Lynne and Wood’s very distinct and separate visions of how The Electric Light Orchestra should have evolved made a harmonious long-term partnership very unlikely. This is both the beginning and the end of a chapter, but what a chapter it was.

****

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Walter Trout – “The Blues Come Callin'” Album Review

Walter Trout Blues Come Callin

 

The vast majority of the rock/blues world’s thoughts have been with Walter Trout recently. Stuck in hospital and forced to appeal to friends and fans for money to raise funds for a life or death liver transplant, the people who love Walter and his music were waiting, breath held, to see if the prolific bluesman was going to live to play once more. At the moment of writing, Walter’s operation has been a success, Walter is recuperating and things are looking up, but recovery is a long process and we cannot take anything for granted. What could have happened isn’t worth thinking about, but the tone of this review could have been much different and it’s slightly easier to leave sentimentality aside knowing that he is still amongst us. Only slightly, mind you, because Trout’s illness and deteriorating heath feature in the lyrical content. The first track is called “Wastin’ Away”, opening with the lines “Lookin’ in the mirror/I don’t know who I see/So I take another look, baby/But it still don’t look like me/Guess it’s the the price got to pay/And I feel like I’m wastin’ away”. It’s difficult to listen to that, knowing everything you know, and not feel the full weight of the song. The theme of illness, the battle and everything he has to live for feature heavily throughout this excellent piece of work. The production by Walter and Eric Corne gives the whole album a dark, intense almost oppressive feel to it; “The Blues Comes Calling” is no walk in the park, but it richly rewards the listener who is willing to open their heart to the music and words.

There are ten new Trout-penned songs here to enjoy, as well as a superb instrumental featuring John Mayall, “Mayall’s Piano Boogie” and J. B. Lenoir’s “The Whale Have Swallowed Me”, a perfect cover song for Walter given his circumstances. This is a really terrific album from Trout and his fellow musicians; it is absolutely impossible to do anything other than sit back and simply enjoy it. My personal picks would be the aforementioned “Wastin’ Away”, the emotionally draining “The Bottom Of The River”, a new Trout classic, “Willie”, the slow-burning “Hard Time” and his tribute to Marie, “Nobody Moves Me Like You Do”. However, there is nothing on this album that falls short of overall excellence, so picking highlights is a rather difficult task. The overall tempo of the album is a little slower that the usual blistering blues we’ve been used to from Walter, but this is a very powerful and emotional collection of soulful blues songs. I think it would be dishonest of me not to mention that the vocals are less powerful than they once were, for obvious reasons. These are still committed, fine vocal performances, but fans will notice the difference. “The Blues Came Calling” is an engaging, vital example of Walter Trout’s art, yet another album to offer proof of why those who know blues rock revere the man so and a timely reminder of what we could have lost. Don’t buy this album for sentimentality’s sake, though, buy it because it is one of the finest blues albums you will hear all year.

Walter Trout’s “The Blues Came Callin'” is out now on Provogue Records.

 

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SonicAbuse

Life has been a bit challenging recently. The best bit of news I’ve had recently is that I have been invited to be a writer for an alternative/rock/metal website called SonicAbuse. I will be, from now on, be publishing my music writing on that site and reserving my own ‘blog for items that simply wouldn’t fit in on there, so updates to this site will slow a little.  Sorry.  It’s an unpaid position, but I’ll be getting to hear some albums before the release date and getting to go to some gigs as a “proper” writer (although I think I was fairly proper before!). I hope I will add an additional flavour to the site and am happy to be joining some passionate and talented music writers and reaching a wider audience.

Check out SonicAbuse:

www.sonicabuse.com

…and I will be back here, occasionally, for reviews of albums that the site have either covered, or to cover other matters that wouldn’t fit in on SonicAbuse.

Thanks for reading.

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