5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An object lesson in progressing but staying true to the spirit of the blues...
, 17 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Far As I Can See (Audio CD)
The opening track 'From far away' is pointer for the rest of this CD, with its modern, muscular funky backing and Matt's sinuous lead guitar on top (with its echoes of B.B. and Albert King) and then his confident vocals. Sure enough Matt covers Albert King's 'Breaking up somebody's home' but this isn't a slavish copy, with Matt definitely making the song his own - adding a jazzy twist but keeping the funky undertone. There is also a version of the old Neville Brothers song 'Yellow Moon' and again he keeps the spirit of the original but moves it on making it a guitar led latin-influenced funky rhumba - fabulous.
Since the 60s its been a conundrum for blues-based bands how to progress but keep the spirit of the blues, this record is an object lesson on how to achieve that difficult trick with Matt moving into jazzy Robben Ford territory with many tracks, such as the instrumental 'Oakville Shuffle' and the swinging 'Clean break'. However, there is also room for a basic (but beautifully-played) slow blues like 'The day you left' and a rolling 12-bar boogie like 'Tell me some lies'. Matt's guitar playing has definitely progressed adding the jazzy licks to his already mastered blues single string lead playing and keeping both the feeling and rhythmic drive. The final track 'Red Dragon' seems to incorporate all these elements in a Hendrix-influenced atmospheric blues which at 9.43 minutes really gives Matt a chance to stretch out with his solo. However, this isn't just Matt Schofield - the band add massively to this record's success, with Jonny Henderson's organ really prominent throughout and the rhythm section of drummer Jordan John and bass player Carl Stanbridge backing them up perfectly and enhancing every solo.
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