Album review: JON BODEN – Painted Lady

Navigator Records [Release date 30.9.16]

Jon Boden was the frontman and fiddle player for Bellowhead who called it a day in May this year. This album was his debut solo album and was originally released back in 2006. Navigator Records have re-issued it on its tenth anniversary and have added three bonus songs.

Jon Boden plays all the instruments on here from guitar through to glockenspiel and Moog. Don’t go expecting a raucous Bellowhead style affair as the music covers many styles – ‘Pocketful Of Mud’ has a distorted indie rock sound. For those after Boden’s mellower and folksy style of singing ‘True Love’ will hit the spot.

Personal pick would be ‘Win Some Lose Some Sally’ which reminded me a little of the debut release of Plant & Page, which mixed varying world music influences anchored in a rock sound. Actually Jon Boden teaming up with Robert Plant has the potential to be a musical match made in heaven!

Of the three bonus songs, the reworking of the Whitney Houston classic ‘I Want To Dance With Somebody’ will raise a few eyebrows. From the chiming clocks at the start, this is a well thought out and total reworking of the original song in a folk music setting.

It is a pretty amazing feat this album considering all the instruments were played by Jon  and it was recorded at the early years of Bellowhead’s musical life.

Jon Boden will be on tour in November when doubtless some of the fine songs on here will feature and this re-issue will acquaint the many Bellowhard fans with his debut solo album, which has flown under the musical radar somewhat. It will be very interesting to see where Jon takes his musical muse to next. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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