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33
4.6 out of 5 stars
Dancing Down the Stony Road
Format: Audio CDChange
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2002
I have been a fan of Chris Rea for many years, ever since my son bought me a vinyl copy of 'Tennis'. I became hooked and I have bought very nearly everything Chris Rea has recorded. Not so long ago I was beginning to think that he had lost his special spark of originality. 'Tuned out' I thought.
This week I bought 'Dancing Down the Stoney Road' for my son's birthday, and I couldn't resist playing it myself before I sent it on.
This is a very different Chris Rea. The wonderful gravelly voice and incredible skill with the guitar are still there, but this time, it all comes from his heart. This isn't background music, it grips, it shakes, it moves. The lyrics are important, you must listen to them, they tell you where he is coming from, where he has been. It's a mixture of Delta Blues, Gospel and the inimitable Chris Rea.
I can't tell you which is my favourite track, I shall have to listen to these cd's again and again, and my favourite pieces will no doubt change with my mood. At the moment the slow 'Give that Girl a Diamond' is making me want to cry, it is a beautiful song and it is haunting me, but tomorrow it may well be a more up-beat track. There is no help for it, I shall have to order another copy of this glorious cd for myself.
Thanks for many years of music Mr. Rea, may you have many more.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2002
In the little ice cream shop in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough I first met Chris Rea in the early 70's, I had my eyes on his mothers Knickerbocker Glory Ice Creams which were simply the best.
The next time I met him face to face was some 30 years later and he opened a village fair as a thank-you for the surgeon who saved his life. He was frail and gaunt, he had lost much of his excess baggage that followed him on his tours. He mentioned that he was working on a special project and what a project it has become.
Blending Chris' gargle-with-gravel voice, with sweet blues couldn't have resulted in a better album - the best of an illustrious line of fine music from "Fool (if you think it's over)" to "Stony Road". Chris is always at his best when he personalises his music, Stainsby Girls, Steel River, Daytona and Tell me there's a Heaven were, until now, my favourite tracks.
There are three more tracks on this album that I would challenge anyone to beat. The inspired "So Lonely", the haunting "Sun is Rising" and the thought provoking "Got to be Moving on" are without a doubt three of the best-ever Rea tracks.
For those with CD Players the first CD of the pack provides a great video diary of chris, his life and the making of the album, dispite the small size of the video clips (when will record companies produce better quality graphics accompanying CDs) you get a lot for your money and for those who have not heard Chris Rea before it is well worth watching.
This album is a good as it gets and should be a firm favourite for years for dedicated Rea fans and those who, like Chris, idolise Charley Patton and his compatriots.
Chris, if you read this... You mother's Ice Cream is legendary, you should be equally proud of a soulful and classic Delta blues album - Make mine a double!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2002
I was put onto this by a radio interview he did with Johnathon Ross, playing some of it live. Forget Road to Hell and all that 80's stuff. This is white man singin' the blues - and he does it REAL well. All his own compositions, and he has used highly respected session musicians to help him get the sound and the mood just right...Memphis/Delta blues - it's all here, in 2002 from an Englishman. Quite excellent; highly recommended.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2005
Just a word of warning to others. This album was also released under the simpler title "Stony Road". The cover design is also different, being a picture of the artist. There is a difference, albeit small, in the track listing i.e. the last track on the longer title is "Diamond", on the shorter title it's "Give that girl a diamond". Don't make the mistake I nearly made - IT'S NOT A DIFFERENT ALBUM - IT'S THE SAME ONE.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2004
I'm not a big Chris Rea fan and I can't say I have given the rest of his discography much of a listen, but I am a huge blues fan. This is the first time I have heard a modern artist do old style Memphis blues justice. As well as the great songs and interesting arrangements, its great to hear a band recording together on record. You really get the feeling that the band love to play what there playing. At the end of the day this album achieves the one thing all great blues albums should, it makes you feel good when you feel bad. Outstanding!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2002
As a long-time fan of Chris Rea (since Road to Hell in 1989), I've listened to almost everything he's released right back from the very first album up to this new double CD "Dancing Down the Stony Road". To be honest, I think his music tailed off a bit in the late 90's with "Blue Cafe" and others of the time, but this CD is Chris back to his best. I've just listened to in on my way around the M25 and its already earned a permanant place in my CD changer.
Sure, its quite a bit different from his other stuff, but its brilliant!. The best way I can describe it is "rocky-blues". Theres a lot of slide guitar and Chris grumbles away in that oh-so familiar voice of his (which someone once described as the vocal equivalent of melting chocolate). The first CD is better than the second, the opening track is good but it gets better in the middle tracks and the end of the first CD "Heading for the City" (the track listing above is slightly wrong) starts off slow and builds to an amazing finish. After the first listen, I listened to it all again straight away and I have to say, it gets better each time you hear it.
In summary, this is not a "The Road to Hell" type album. Chris has broken away from eastwest records and gone his own way, and its a huge step forward. Its moody, bluesy and a return to form. Welcome back Chris, glad you've recovered and brought us music of this quality.!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2002
I've been a fan of Chris Rea since the mid 80's, and have felt that, in recent times, his output was coasting to some degree and that the best was long past.However, this collection, a mighty double album of twenty tracks, has to be up there with his best. Written following recent severe illness, his mixes pain-ridden blues and gospel with ease drawing from his experiences at that time. The best yet - hope there's much more to come..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Following form a cancer scare at the turn of the century, soft rock guitarist/singer/songwriter Chris Rea turned away from the middle of the road stuff he'd built a successful career out of and started to put out very personal blues albums, of which this is the first.

This is an incredibly impressive album. Rea shows that he has a total mastery of the form, with some great authentic sounding guitar work, and some very well written tracks that sound as though they may be covers of older delta blues tracks, but I was surprised to find they were all written by Rea. The tracks largely tell the story of his recent brush with mortality, and his new view of the world. Very personal, but with that vital spark that raises them to greatness. The final touch is Rea's voice - it is rough and world weary, and sounds as though it was designed for this type of music. It's a perfect combination that will have hardened blues fans in raptures of ecstasy, and will, I think, appeal to anyone who enjoys good music played with a passion.

This version os the two disk set, much superior to the single disc release with only half the tracks. There is also a documentary about Rea and the making of the album, and some concert footage.

If you like this then check out Rea's other blues releases, `The Blue Jukebox', the mammoth `Blue Guitars' and `The Return Of The Fabulous Hoffner Bluenotes'. Recommended for all electric blues fans, fans of Rea's older work who are willing to embrace change, and anyone who likes music with meaning.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2002
I was put onto this by a radio interview he did with Johnathon Ross, playing some of it live. Forget Road to Hell and all that 80's stuff. This is white man singin' the blues - and he does it REAL well. All his own compositions, and he has used highly respected session musicians to help him get the sound and the mood just right...Memphis/Delta blues - it's all here, in 2002 from an Englishman. Quite excellent; highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2013
I've listened to this amazing and brilliant album a number of times since I got it as a Christmas present nearly 10 years ago. In my mind this is possibly Chris Rea's best and may be even he's finest album that he's done. Ever. Having read some of the reviews on here and finding some of them interesting, I decided to put a review of my own of what I thought of the album. Here goes...

I've been a Chris Rea fan for as long as I can remember. Owning pretty much all of his albums from 1978-2011, finding that not one of them is a duff album, nearly all of them have been consistently excellent in my opinion. So what makes this stand out from all his others? Well, I reckon it's probably because it's his first blues album which he always wanted to make and seeing it was the blues that inspired him in the first place to pick up his guitar and enter the recording studios and produce the albums throughout the later part of the seventies and through the eighties and some of the nineties too. Anyway, this album outshines his previous albums and possibly even Blue Guitars but only just with the latter.

The first CD opens up with Easy Rider possibly one of the best opening tracks on any Chris Rea album and finishes with the gorgeous and evocative Give That Girl a Diamond on CD2. All the other tracks are equally worth mentioning and the whole album sounds relaxed and full of great playing by Chris Rea and his band members. The feeling of the blues is felt throughout this album I feel and his voice compliments the blues like a glove. They seem to go extremely well together. As far as I'm concerned, this album is my favourite that he's produced. Blue Guitars was a mammoth achievement in 2005 but this one just edges it for me.
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