FRASER ANDERSON – Little Glass Box
Membran [Release date 10.11.14]
Scottish singer/songwriter Fraser Anderson has been releasing albums since 2004, having toured as part of Dougie MacLean’s backing band. On this album he is joined by guest musicians including Danny Thompson and pianist Max Middleton, who has worked with Jeff Back amongst many others.
This is a very quiet and gentle album , with the quiet folk of ‘Rag & Bones’ sitting alongside the gentle jazz refrains of the title track and ‘Warhorse’, both aided by trumpeter Dick Pearce. Maybe a little too quiet and jazzy for my personal tastes, however it will be enjoyed by others I am sure and Fraser Anderson has a voice that draws the listener in.
A late night, relaxing listen and a natural heir to John Martyn. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
PAIN OF SALVATION – Falling Home
Inside Out [Release date 10.11.14]
Daniel Gildenlow and Pain Of Salvation have decided to give some of their backlist an acoustic/jazz make over. I am not that overly familiar with the band’s work but I have to say I really enjoyed this album. The playing is exemplary, in particular the guitar playing and the drums/percussion, the latter are so clear you can hear the brushes on the jazzier passages.
’1979′ has it all, from a plaintive keyboard through to mesmerizing guitar and percussion, plus the vocals and backing vocal arrangements which add a whole new level to the music. The classical/acoustic guitar intro on ‘Chain Sling’ is another highlight and they push the acoustic boundary a little with a full on drum sound.
They also do two covers, first up a fairly straight run through Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’ and the vocals are the star of the show. The one that is a show stopper though is their easy listening take on Dio’s classic ‘Holy Diver’. Crikey they even break into a bit of Bob Marley approved reggae midway through. Purists may run for the comfort of their Dio albums, however open your mind and ears to one of the cleverest cover versions for a long time. The guitar solos are something else too!
Good to see a band doing an acoustic album that reworks their own songs and a couple of cover versions to give a whole new slant to their music. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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