333 Records [Release date 27.03.20]
Let me straight away pay tribute here to the cover artwork by Klaus Voorman, which is fantastic. Voorman, of course, was tight with The Beatles from Hamburg days – and he won a Grammy for his artwork on “Revolver”. He was even announced in the press as Paul McCartney’s replacement when he left the band, and in the 70’s also played on many classic rock and pop records. Klaus Voorman doesn’t do artwork for just anyone, so Stephen Dale Petit sets a very high benchmark for himself. SDP (as he likes to call himself) also regularly uses Patty Boyd photographs, and is known for playing live with such luminaries as Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood SDP is a veteran of several releases.
It’s clear his grounding is blues playing, but it often sounds more like 70’s rock than Delta Blues – which is not a bad thing. He is the master of some mean riffs. “Soul of a Man” is a real hook of a riff after only two or three playings. Plus some virtuoso guitar playing, ably backed by a small band.
This album is definitely a grower. Then, just when you feel you’ve got it down, something else pops up to make categorising SDP a tricky proposition. “The Fall of America” is not only a great song title, it evokes more recent years with a kind of Kasabian meets Oasis groove. Other times the album might evoke 70’s band sounds – Dutch group Focus being an example. There’s even a spoken/rap vocal on “Zombie Train” done over the top of a funk baseline.
All in all a high quality release. The vocals are average but everything else top drawer.
Review by Iain McGonigal
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