Album review: TED & MAJELLA – Better Together (Ted Turner, ex-Wishbone Ash)

David Randall chatted to Ted Turner about the album for his weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. (24:41)  The full interview is repeated on Friday 11 May at 22:00 GMT.

TED & MAJELLA - Better Together

Turneround Music [Release date 06.04.18]

Since 1974, when he left the band, Ted Turner has occasionally surfaced with Wishbone Ash-related reunions but since that time he has been rather quiet in terms of his own recorded output.  His only solo release is 2010′s ‘Eclektic Value’, whilst his twitter page is frozen in that year (when he played High Voltage with his former band) and with a website that is no longer active.

It’s a total surprise, then, that he comes up with one of 2018′s finer albums, so far, together with his partner Majella.

The couple have evidently been energised by both their own relationship with each other and the wider environment.  Thoughtful lyrics, a fine vocal from Majella, Turner’s spiky bluesy licks and a soft rock vibe throughout all make for a very fine listen.

Often when a couple collaborate it might have the effect of neutering the main “name”.  In this example Turner plays a very supportive but never intrusive role on guitar (and backing vocals).  It all fits perfectly.  Often the “partner” might be the weak link.  But Majella ticks all the boxes.

There’s a consistency to this album, and true craftsmanship,  frequently lacking in these days of instant gratification. In fact, the laid back, unhurried feel allows the listener both reflection and restoration.

The spirit of the enterprise is summed up in the opener ‘Better Together’ whilst ‘Instairs’ is inspired by Turner’s interest in the work of American theorist and global thinker Buckminster Fuller.  A song like ‘Karmony’ further demonstrates Majella’s soulful streak with Turner showing why he was so revered back in the early 1970s, even if these days he is a master of restraint.

We shouldn’t really be surprised by this album, because since the eighties Turner has immersed himself in wider, global issues.  To release an album like ‘Better Together’, seemingly out of the blue,  is nevertheless a quiet revelation.   And timely, given Wishbone Ash’s continued ascendancy via live shows and reissues.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 September 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 22 September 2020.

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