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This review is from: Combustion (MP3 Download)
Russ Tippins and his electric band have wasted no time in getting back into the studio after the outstanding live performances in support of critically acclaimed debut `Electrickery'.
'Combustion' is an album of immense quality from the intelligent lyrical content as well as some stunning music, intermixed with some surprising instrumental breaks and humorous insights and musical styles, all formatted with some great musicianship.
The album kicks off in a rock vein with the title track and `Smokehouse' showing off the bands skills and even featuring a bass solo from John Dawson on Combustion. `Too Cool To Sweat' is a jazzier affair with some terrific guitar from Russ which also features snippets of Harry Stoneham's Parkinson Theme. `Big Bad Bella' is a song about a woman who you do not mess with from a physical point of view. There is one in every town but Russ has found local lass that takes no crap and can dish out the appropriate level of pain as retribution, great humour in this track which possesses a great groove. Another style change for the Clint Eastwood Pale Rider influenced `Poncho', wonderful epic song about the man-with-no-name dispensing the justice required to keep the law-breakers in check. Drummer Ian Halford gets to show his skills on the funky rocking `After You' this has a great band sound with all the instruments audible with great clarity especially during the drum fills section. `Better Times Coming' is a more melodic song featuring lyrics on the political and economic current affairs state of UK, some lovely guitar work from Russ again on this medium paced track. Jenna Hooson joins Russ on co-vocals for the only cover on the album, a derivative of Charles Davenport's first recording in 1929 `Mama Don't Allow' where the sax, gittar,and bass (featuring Boots Randolph's Yakety Sax) taking turns in a few bars of soloing, up-tempo shuffle style here that will be great live. `Misty Blue' is a wonderfully laid back track that features one of those amazing sax solos that appear now and then, on this occasion from Steve Clifford.
I'm saving the best for last; `Tear Down The Sky' is one of the best blues songs that will be released this year, featuring a brilliant emotional vocal from USA singer J Edwards and some exquisite guitar from Russ. This track I would guess will be played on most radio shows and is a fantastic showcase for the album.
Combustion is an album of quality songs and performances, Russ Tippins Electric Band have a product to be very proud of and I for one cannot wait to hear these tracks in live performance