Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2016 Nov-Dec Contents 22 Rhythms
DUANE EDDY DUANE EDDY (BIG 3/PLANET); VARIOUS ARTISTS – NEW
ORLEANS GUMBO (BIG 3/PLANET)
Although musically unlinked, these two fabulous releases are part of The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection series,
and both are jam packed with brilliance. The Eddy set focuses on the pivotal period between 1959 and 1962 when, under
the watchful eye of Lee Hazlewood, the twangin’ guitar legend released an unrivalled tsunami of hits that started with
the rollicking ‘Rebel Rouser’, and they’re all here. New Orleans Gumbo is the ultimate party starter, and there are few
artists or songs that lovers of Louisiana music will not immediately identify. Spanning the era from 1951–1961 when
new Orleans stamped its authority on American music there are rock’n’roll, r’n’b, rockabilly, swamp pop and soul sides
from the likes of Fats Domino, Bobby Charles, Professor Longhair, Lloyd Price, Lee Dorsey, and Irma Thomas to name
but a few. Absolutely Essential has rarely been more pertinent.
SLOW CLUB ONE DAY ALL OF THIS WON’T MATTER ANY MORE (MOSHI
The imprint of Matthew E. White’s production is immediately identifiable on this wonderful album, right from the
opening bars of the low-fi masterpiece ‘Where The Light Gets Lost’. The Sheffield duo’s sound has developed into a
brooding folk meets Southern Gothic concoction, with thunderous bass lines, infectious melodies and fluid guitar
lines. Rebecca Taylor’s vocals on ‘In Waves’ provides the album highlight, however their chemistry is at its zenith when
Charles Watson takes centre stage; overall this is a mighty fine record.
LISA O’NEILL POTHOLE IN THE SKY (PLATEAU/PLANET)
‘Pothole In The Sky’, the opening song on the Irish indie-folk singer/songwriter’s third album, starts with cool embers
and builds to an aural inferno; it’s quite an introduction. O’neill sings extremely affecting songs with an equally
affected vocal style that polarises – love or loathe her, for there’s no in-between. The instrumentation is predominantly
sparse, accentuating her china doll vocals and the beauty in her poetic outpourings. This is not an album for the faint-
hearted, one listen to ‘nasty’ or ‘Gormlaith’s Grieving’ may well bring a pitying tear to the eye; Lisa O’neill is following
her musical muse and the journey is exhilarating.
JONAH TOLCHIN THOUSAND MILE NIGHT (YEP ROC/PLANET)
Recording in Muscle Shoals fabled FAME Studios isn’t a guarantee in itself, but the Alabama air clearly inspires all
who make the pilgrimage. The magic has rubbed off on Tolchin, and his third album is a delight. Although initially
pigeonholed as an indie folk musician, this is more aligned with laid back country blues. The mood is reflective right
from the outset, with the gently shuffling ‘Beauty In The Ugliest Of Days’ a highlight. The tempo heats up on the title
track, its incessant rhythm and slide guitar recounting his road trip from Alabama to new Jersey, and the haunting re-
work of Skip James ‘Hard Time Killing Floor’ lays out his blues credentials. The future sounds bright for Jonah Tolchin.
OTIS REDDING COMPLETE & UNBELIEVABLE...THE OTIS REDDING
DICTIONARY OF SOUL (RHINO /WARNER)
Seriously, who else is more qualified to write the dictionary of soul than Otis! This stupendous double disc release
celebrates the 50th anniversary of this ground breaking soul masterpiece, presenting the album in its original mono
magnificence and also stereo enhanced, as well as including a batch of rare outtakes and scorching live performances.
Backed by Booker T & The MG’s, Isaac Hayes and the peerless Memphis Horns, Redding delivers one of the 20th
century’s greatest soul recordings; it’s Fa-Fa-Fa-Fantastic!
THE STRAY BIRDS MAGIC FIRE (YEP ROC/PLANET)
This marks something of a departure as the acoustic trio has added a full electric ensemble to the mix with telling
effect. Their glorious harmonies still soar, Maya de Vitry still sounds like Christine McVie, fiddles still fill the air,
but the band adds a new dimension that leaves bluegrass behind and veers down the nashville country road, with a
stopover in Cajun country (‘Sabrina’). Magic Fire is a radio friendly knees-up and, given airplay, any one of the dozen
originals would have a date with chart topping destiny.
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