Gordon Giltrap and Paul Ward - The Last of England
The really good news about this release is that Gordon is well enough to be talking about it. He's been through the ringer over the last 18 months or so with a cancer issue needing some big surgery. That he is back at all is a real pleasure to say. And this is a great Gordon Giltrap release. He's teamed up with Paul Ward and with Paul's orchestral knowledge on the keyboards this takes Gordon's guitar skills to a new dimension. There are parts where you try to just turn off the slightly obvious synthy strings and imagine this in an Albert Hall like setting with a large orchestra. There are others too that are a real hark back to Gordon's band albums with some really terrific proggy like stuff. Really terrific album which my wife also says is incredibly soothing when on a long drive around South London the other day. Search out A Promise Fulfilled - terrific progressive folk rock track.
Tom Chapin - The Wave
Keane frontman's first solo effort. There's no mistaking his voice, it's tricky for the singer of a band to do a solo album as their voice is the bands voice all too often. However this does have a different vibe in some way, more laid back less driven I'd sum it up as. There are a couple of tracks I'm not so sure about being worthy of being on the album but then some others especially Quicksand which are simply classics in creation. Search out Quicksand - just a terrific track.
Blackberry Smoke - Like an Arrow
Now Blackberry Smoke aren't going to win any awards for the most original music however what they do do is great southern country rock. From the kick off track of Waiting For the Thunder the ghost of great Lynyrd Skynyrd hovers over every drum beat guitar riff and drawled vocal. But hey - they do it brilliantly.Songs like Sunrise in Texas have a more country feel but this is still southern rock at its very best. Search out - Waiting for the Thunder or Let it Burn.