Cargo Records [Release date 16.08.19]
Second album from this bluesy melodic rock group, and it follows on nicely from their debut, the acclaimed ‘Fighting Demons’. Again featuring guitarist Manny Charlton (also dobro, best known as a founder member and chief songwriter for Nazareth), with guest bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake et al), it’s immediately a fine set.
I was first introduced to this band by SKoR vocalist Emil Gammeltoft (a man with his own Nazareth connections), and since then guitarist and vocalist Helge Rognstad has become a friend. Alongside Helge are bassist Jerry Bessent and drummer Nick Rhodes.
From the outset there are deep and smooth vocals, and a bluesy feel. Manny’s guitar adds a lot to the band, a solid blues feel (something Nazareth have lacked since the mid 80s), and on tracks like ‘Give Me Something’ the use of acoustic guitar there’s a nod to both country and folk, as well as the blues, while retaining the melodic rock overtones.
The duet with Alison Cooper is a good touch, and ‘John The Revelator’ has a great groove, the fuzz adding some heaviness. And it’s the heavier tracks where the guitar stands out. While ‘Tongues Wag’ has a stripped down feel, it’s heavy solid and it gets your head nodding.
Nine new tracks, a great feel and some moments of magic. Then there’s the bonus DVD that adds music videos, band interviews, guest interviews, rehearsals and a look at Helge’s and Manny’s guitars. What’s not to love?
What a wonderful album and combination of musicians. ****
Review by Joe Geesin
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 30 August 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 8 September 2020.
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