Timezone Records [Release date o7.09.18]
Zed Mitchell is a German based guitarist with a beautiful touch and tone. His playing owes much to the Peter Green meets Mark Knopfler school of feel, meaning ‘WOW’ is a very laid back album which in its best moments provides the perfect framework for Mitchell’s majestic guitar playing.
He’s worked with everyone from Pink Floyd to the Munich Symphonic Sound Orchestra and composer Elmer Bernstein, a fact evidenced by the musical substance here.
‘WOW’ is his six solo album. It finds him in a reflective mood on series of relationship and family songs.
From Manfred Pollert’s front cover sunset and seaside photography to Zed Mitchell’s own signature tone, this is an album that aims to make an emotional connection.
Mitchell works hard to do that with some co-written narratives with Dave Knight, but a combination of awkward phrasing and mundane lyrics means he falls just short of the heights his guitar playing
The funky feel and guitar-led groove of ‘Wonderland’ for example, has a catchy hook, but is hampered by lyrics that fail to evoke the title, which is shame as once again the subtly crafted guitar resolution is well worth the wait.
No matter, ‘WOW’ is worthy of your attention for the guitar playing alone. From the opening ‘Black Swan’ – a call to the new generation to stand up and seize the moment – he imbues his guitar playing with a sumptuous tone and occasional subtle volume swell for good measure.
He’s a guitarist who instinctively knows the value of space and dynamics. He’s close to Peter Green on the slow, but imperious build of ‘We Are Not Alone’, while the guitar part on ‘Now Is Our Time’ puts you in mind of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’, but the song is slightly marred by poor phrasing and half spoken lines.
He’s in a more resilient mood on the aptly titled ‘Take It On The Chin’, a song about self-affirmation that features a gentle weepy toned solo. He adds a tinge of regret to his emotional palette on ‘The Train Has Gone’, on which his guitar cleverly evokes the narrator’s feelings.
‘Once’ matches ‘We Are Not Alone’ in being an album highlight. It’s a riff driven piece with two separate guitar parts on the intro and some dense note clusters, a good hook and better lyrics about his son: “Only you can find the space among the trees, Only you know where to go, Only you can see the limits of your dreams, Only you can find a place like home.”
‘Tomorrow’ is a stylistic departure. It’s jazzy shuffle featuring David Haynes’s gentle brush strokes, a subtle change of Mitchell’s guitar tone and some belated synth horn parts from Sascha Kühn.
Mitchell saves his best for last on ‘The Man In My Mind’. Apart from the great title, the song benefits from a better vocal – think a Mark Knopfler’s close to the mic whisper – before he adds superb slide and intricate guitar that again perfectly evokes his lyrical meaning.
Despite its exclamatory title, ‘WOW’ is a beguiling set of heartfelt songs all intricately interwoven by Zed Mitchell, a guitarist who brings every nuance of his experience to bear on each note.
And it’s his lattice of guitar tones and solos that will bring you back to an album on which his mesmerising playing expresses the core of his heartfelt songs. ***½
Review by Pete Feenstra
Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.
Next session: Sunday 17 July.
Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT 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 21 June 2022.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!