Mad Hat Records [Release date 24.05.19]
This is Rebecca Downes third studio album and one with a more straight ahead rock sound, although she still digs into the blues on some songs. All the songs were written by Downes and guitarist Steve Birkett, with legendary Stones producer Chris Kimsey offering some advice. Five tracks were mixed in California by Bill Dresche and the rest were mixed by Thunder bassist Chris Childs.
Rounding out the band are rhythm section Dan Clark (bass) and Lloyd Daker (drums) and Magnum keyboard player Rick Benton (who Magnum tapped up from Downes’ band to replace Mark Stanway). Keeping the Magnum theme going Tony Clarkin guests on one song (plus it was recorded at the studios often used by Magnum), as does King King’s Alan Nimmo.
Novel to hear Tony Clarkin doing a bluesy solo on ‘Breathe Out’, a real tour de force both vocally and on guitar. The other guest guitarist Alan Nimmo is equally impressive on ‘Big Sky’, which packs a hard rock punch.
The title track is a perfect blend of pop and rock, which has the potential to be an airplay hit if say BBC Radio 2 gave the song a chance, especially given its rousing chorus. ‘Wave Them Goodbye’ is a rollicking duet with Steve Birkett, one to blast out loud at a summer BBQ! The advice from Chris Kimsey makes itself heard loud and clear on ‘Hurts’, a song that has a strong Rolling Stones vibe about it.
Rebecca Downes has a powerful vocal, which backed by a set of talented musicians and strong songs, should see her gain the wider recognition she deserves. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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