Album review: BEN REEL – The Nashville Calling

BEN REEL - The Nashville Calling

Ceol Music [Release date 03.03.20]

Recorded in Nashville, produced by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack, and featuring E Street Band’s Garry W Tallent on bass, Ben Reel’s 9th studio album finds him paying homage to The Boss.  At least, in part.

In the can in just 3 days, with all takes recorded ‘live’ The Nashville Calling has an Americana, rootsy feel with the opening pairing of ‘All In Good Time’ and ‘Tough People’ imbued with the spirit of The Big ‘O’ and The Boss.  Had Springsteen taken a spin with The Wilburys it would surely have sounded like the latter.

‘Round The Next Bend’ starts out classic Roy, morphs through Bruce, and even throws in a hint of The King for good measure, while ‘Fine Wine’ again blends aspects of Roy and Bruce to good effect – in Western Stars style.  The wistful, harmonica imbued ‘Broken’ would sit equally comfortably in the latter’s setlist.

For those looking for some more familiar ground, ‘Safe And Sound’ and the excellent ‘Like A Breeze’ lay down lazy, soulful, bluesy grooves, ‘Up There In The Sky’ – another album standout – is an impassioned stadium rocker, and ‘New Jerusalem’ classic 12 bar blues.

Meanwhile, the mournful, set closing ‘Borrowed Times’ is a suitable reminder that, as with all Ben Reel albums, whatever the style, the quality control is always set high.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

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 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 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 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)

Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)

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