CHEDX [Release date 14.08.20]
Jack Bessant is a solo singer-songwriter and the bassist in platinum selling rock band Reef. For Jack this album is something of a catharsis, confronting an intensely personal subject that has been buried deep.
“I had to deal with my brother committing suicide…” he explains. “It was heavy, it was horrific. I’ve managed to deal with it now through my music. I didn’t want to have to talk about it at the time, I didn’t want to have to say it out loud, but it’s important, we have to be able to be raw with each other…It’s been a dark horse on me and hopefully through my music I’m able to help other people, not just with coming to terms with something like that, but the realness of all our lives.”
He’s joined on this spiritual journey by Spex (guitars), Bruno Killingham (keys), Tommy Williams (keys), James Stewart (guitars), Marc MacNabb-Jack (drums), Martin Hedder (piano) and Julian Bath (slide guitar, banjo). Spex (who is also a skateboarding legend after a little web searching) and Julian Bath both played on Jack’s 2015 album ‘Jack Bessant with the Cheddar Experiment Band’.
‘Slow Burning Angel’ highlights the warm and mellow singing style of Jack Bessant. A truly superlative song and vocally Canned Heat’s Al Wilson came to mind. High register singing but never shrill and always soothing on the ears.
Nothing ever gets to rocky on this album, the guitars and drums only really crank up on ‘Peacemaker’, a mighty fine slice of Allman Brothers approved music.
Throughout the album Jack plays some stellar harmonica, none more so than on ‘Stack Up Beers’. ‘Save 1 Kiss’ is an emotional piece on how at Christmas time we think of the ones no longer with us. The piano and sleigh bells (I think!) underpin the vocals and guitar to great effect.
The overall vibe off the album is one of laid back music, something you can imagine playing on speakers down at a beach surf party or just an album to chill out to at the end of a day. Don’t go expecting Reef, but do dive in if you enjoy mellow, laid back rock with a distinct 70’s feel. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
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
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