Farm Hand Records [Release date 01.01.19]
Last time we caught up with Wille And The Bandits it was at Giants Of Rock 2017 when they were touring Steal (2017) – a stormer of a blues /rock roots album. So it’s apt the first date on their Paths 2019 promotional tour will be a reappearance at Minehead.
What separates the band from the crowd is Wille Edwards’ electrifying lap steel, dobro, and electric Weissenborn playing which gives a unique rootsiness to their modus operandi. And with Steal they seemed to have overcome their tendency to ‘experiment’, with their previous album (Grow (2013)), by their own admission, maybe a little too diverse.
The album comes out of the traps at a frenetic pace with the anthemic ‘One Way’. It’s a song with a great chorus line, and one that should translate well to the stage even if, on record, it feels a little over hurried.
‘Make Love’ stylistically harks back to the days of Cream, and along with ‘Victim Of The Night’ has shades of Lynott in Edwards’ gravelly vocals. The latter, in particular, benefits from a mid-section break of pace, allowing space for some tasteful guitar/keys interplay.
The slower ballad ‘Four Million Days’, is shelter from the storm, but then the desire to go ‘off piste’ strikes with the ‘Ed Sheeran meets The Police’ ‘Chakra’, and the hip hop/rap/ funk experimentation of ‘Keep It On The Down-low’.
Ironically, where they do strike motherlode is with the late night groove of ‘How Long’. Restrained, moody and slow burning, it’s a set highlight by a clear margin with some lovely bass playing from Matt Brooks.
But, overall, Paths is the band’s most consistent album yet. Maybe not that elusive ‘break through’ album, but one that will be well received by their existing fan base. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
UK tour dates 2019
Rainbreakers, support except where indicated*
Giants of Rock, Minehead* – Saturday 26th January 2019
Butlin’s, Warren Rd, Minehead TA24 5SH www.butlins.com
Phoenix, Exeter* – Wednesday 30th January 2019
Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS www.exeterphoenix.org.uk
The Factory, Barnstaple* – Thursday 31st January 2019
Petroc Brannams Campus, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 3NJ
The 1865, Southampton* – Friday 1st February 2019
Brunswick Square, Southampton SO14 3AR
The Cobblestones, Bridgwater* – Friday 8th February 2019
71 Eastover, Bridgwater TA6 5AP www.thecobblestonesmusic.co.uk
The Old Bakery, Truro* – Saturday 9th February 2019
Blewett’s Wharf, Malpas Road, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1QH
Guildhall, Gloucester* – Friday 15th February 2019
23 Eastgate St, Gloucester GL1 1NS
Ropetackle, Shoreham – Wednesday 6th March 2019
Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5EG
Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff – Thursday 7th March 2019
11 Womanby St, Cardiff CF10 1BR https://clwb.net
The Junction, Plymouth – Friday 8th March 2019
6 Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6LA www..com/mutleyjunction
Thekla, Bristol – Saturday 9th March 2019
The Grove, East Mud Dock, Bristol BS1 4RB
The Bodega, Nottingham – Wednesday 13th March 2019
23 Pelham St, Nottingham NG1 2ED
O2 Academy 2, Liverpool – Thursday 14th March 2019
11-13 Hotham St, Liverpool L3 5UF
O2 Academy 2, Sheffield – Friday 15th March 2019
37-43 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PN
The Continental, Preston* – Saturday 16th March 2019
South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JP
Victoria Hall, Settle* – Sunday 17th March 2019
Kirkgate, Settle BD24 9DZ
Fibbers, York Tuesday 19th March 2019
3-5 Toft Green, York YO1 6JT www.fibbers.co.uk
The Hug & Pint, Glasgow – Wednesday 20th March 2019
171 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G4 9AW
Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh – Thursday 21st March 2019
19a W Register St, Edinburgh EH2 2AA
The Cluny, Newcastle – Friday 22nd March 2019
36 Lime St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PQ
Top Secret, Scarborough* Saturday 23rd March 2019
Scarborough Spa Complex, South Bay, Scarborough, YO11 2HD
Junction 2, Cambridge – Sunday 24th March 2019
Clifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GX
The Waterfront, Norwich – Wednesday 27th March 2019
139-141 King St, Norwich NR1 1QH
O2 Academy 3, Birmingham – Thursday 28th March 2019
16-18 Horse Fair, Birmingham B1 1DB
O2 Academy 2, Oxford – Friday 29th March 2019
190 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1UE
O2 Academy 2 Islington, London – Saturday 30th March 2019
16 Parkfield St, London N1 0PS
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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.
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14:00-16:00 Singer Songwriter Featured Albums of 2019
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