Album review: BUCKETS REBEL HEART – 20 Good Summers

Pride & Joy Music [Release date 07.12.18]

Buckets Rebel Heart is the new band formed by ex-Bad Company and Humble Pie guitarist Dave “Bucket” Colwell, along with former 720 & New Torpedoes drummer, Paul “Taff” Edwards. The line-up is completed by lead vocalist Jim Stapley (The Jones Gang) and bass player Dave “Boycie” Boyce (ex-The Quireboys). Mollie Marriott also guests on backing vocals.

It will come as no surprise that there is a more than a little bit of the Brian Howe/Robert Hart era Bad Company sound dotted through the album, none more so than on ’20 Good Summers’. A magical piece of melodic hard rock, made for radio and cranking up loud.

‘Rebel Heart’ is a ballad that harks back to the 70′s in its feel and composition, complete with female backing vocals, dreamy guitar solos, tasty bit of Hammond playing and a tip of the hat to Lynyrd Skynyrd, wonderful from start to finish.

Jim Stapley has a wonderful vocal (he was named as ‘One To Watch’ by fellow GRTR! scribe Andy Nathan in his 2015 year end round up), one minute echoing Paul Rodgers on  ‘When Angels Fall’, then giving it plenty of hard rock wellie on ‘Whiskeyland’, which is driven along by a lovely, big guitar riff.

‘Radio State Of Mind’ sees Rick Richards (Georgia Satellites/Izzy Stradlin) taking the lead vocal on a fun filled country meets boogie rock tune that has a strong Georgia Satellites vibe about it. The other song with a guest vocalist is ‘Customised Car’ featuring Lyla D’Souza (Kill For Eden), a real up and at ‘em pop rocker, with Lyla having a deep, husky voice perfect for the song and lyrics.

Albums released in December suffer from missing the annual ‘best of’ lists, as these are often compiled before then. Hopefully this highly enjoyable album by Buckets Rebel Heart doesn’t get ‘lost’, it is way too good an album to be ignored. A little bit country, a whole lotta rock and a massively enjoyable album. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

Dave “Bucket” Colwell and Paul “Taff” Edwards answer a few questions about the album, Humble Pie, Bad Company and more…

How did the line up for Buckets Rebel Heart come together and how did Mollie Marriott get involved in the album?

Dave – Once we had finished writing and demoing the songs, and were ready to start recording for the album for real, Jim was the guy we wanted onboard. I already knew him pretty well, as he was the singer in The Jones Gang with me for a few years, along with Kenney Jones from The Who, and Rick Wills from Foreigner. We wanted someone who could really sell the songs, as if they were his own words, not just read them from a script, and I knew that’s how Jim would approach it.

Add to that that Jim is a great guitarist and piano player, along with being an awesome front man, which made him the ideal guy for the job. Dave Boyce is a great bass player, and a great guy to be in a band alongside, so again, it was an easy choice to make.

Mollie has been a cherished friend for a long time, through my connections with Humble Pie and The Jones Gang, and she’s a singer that never ceases to amaze me. She has a great solo career going now, so I was a bit apprehensive about asking her to do backing vocals, but she jumped at the chance

Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites fame sings on one ‘Radio State Of Mind’. How did you get him involved?

Taff – The song Radio State of Mind is kind of a homage to the glory days of US rock radio, and it’s got a bit of a country rock groove to it. As we are both big Georgia Satellites fans, we thought we’d ask Rick Richards to do it, which he kindly agreed to do. It was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia too, which adds no end to our southern rock cred!

The album ’20 Good Summers’ covers many musical sounds from rock, country, soul and rock n roll boogie. Did you have any set musical style in mind when starting to write the album or was it a case of seeing where each song took you musically?

Dave – The inspiration came from Paul and I doing what we love, which is to create music that inspires us and, hopefully the people who hear it. We both love story-teller writers, like Springsteen and Steve Earle, and wanted to make an album that would stand the test of time. I think its fair to say we did let the tunes spread out, and take on a life of their own sometimes.

We’ve both done a lot inside, and outside the music business, so we had plenty of experiences to draw on. We both tend to try and write about universal themes, life, love, friendship, and the passing of time.

We also chose to do it outside the confines of having a deal before we started, as it gave us the chance to write from the heart, without having any constraints on the material. It has been totally a joint effort, a real partnership. Sometimes one of us may come up with an almost finished song, other times it may just be a title, guitar riff or lyric, and then we work it round between us…and luckily we’ve done this together long enough to not be too precious about our own ideas.

You used Pledge Music for the initial release. How successful was this and do you think this type of crowd funding is the way forward in financing recording albums in the future?

Taff – We did use Pledge, yes, and the process worked great. With a lot of record companies these days, they won’t even look at a band unless they have received some level of exposure and sales by themselves, so that makes Pledge a lifeline for new artists.

I think it also gives bands back the artistic freedom that got a bit lost in the big record company years, when A & R departments were all powerful.

It’s amazing too when you look at Pledge, how many of the bigger bands are using it these days.

Pride and Joy Records will be releasing the album on December 7th. How did you hook up with them and what do they offer that perhaps you couldn’t achieve solely using Pledge Music? 

Dave – Unless you’re an established band, I think you can only go so far on your own, as there is so much music out there, it can be hard to get heard.

Pride and Joy Music were recommended to me, while I was on tour in America earlier this year. We were looking for a label who believed in us as writers, and in the album.  We wanted to work with someone who could give us commitment, support and really be excited to release the record, and our label owner Birgitt ticks all those boxes. We’ve also just signed a deal for a release in Japan in January, 2019..

Why do you think the Robert Hart era of Bad Company is often overlooked? The ‘Stories Told & Untold’ is an excellent album for example. 

Dave – Yeah, that’s an album I’m really proud of. The 90′s were a strange time for rock, and after Nirvana and grunge took hold, a lot of bands fell out of fashion, and Bad Co were no exception to that. Luckily, these days, there seems to be a grassroots resurgence for our type of music, and we even have our own genre now…Classic Rock!

Humble Pie returned this year with a new lineup, although Jerry Shirley is overseeing the band he does not tour. How did the US tour dates go? Are there any plans to record new music this lineup?

Dave – The US dates are going really well, and run through to the end of November, and then we’ll be back out in Spring 2019. I’m in touch with Jerry pretty much every day, and he, myself and the other guys in the band are committed to getting the music and legacy of Humble Pie across to as many people as we can. A lot of Humble Pie fans never had the chance to hear the music of the original band, so that’s our focus for now.

Message for your fans…

Dave – I’ve been lucky enough to do this for all my working life, with some of my favourite bands, and worked with a host of great musicians, and that’s all down to the fans who have stuck with me along the way, and I can’t thank them enough. Buckets Rebel Heart is a living, breathing rock band, and we hope everyone will stick with us on the next leg of the journey.

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

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 14 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

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 9 February 2021.

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