Here are the latest record reviews, courtesy of Kevin Bryan.
Sam Lewis, Waiting On You (Brash Music). The latest solo album from highly regarded Nashville tunesmith Sam Lewis was recorded in the space of just two and a half days last summer, drawing on contributions from top notch Music City session men such as Darrell Scott, Mickey Raphael and Will Kimbrough. Waiting On You must rank as one of the most compelling singersongwriter packages that I’ve come across in many a long year, with Sam’s supremely soulful country croon often strangely reminiscent of Self Portrait-era Dylan as he serves up standout tracks such as Things Will Never Be The Same, Never Again, and 3 /4 Time for
Ten Years After, Access All Areas (Edsel Records). This splendid audiovisual package captures Ten Years After’s 1990 performance in the intimate surroundings of Central Television’s Nottingham studios. The recording formed part of a long forgotten series entitled Live Legends and was very much a spiritual homecoming for the recently reformed rockers, who all hailed from the East Midlands. Guitarist Alvin Lee was, as ever, the centre of attention as he applied his dazzling instrumental technique to perennial showstoppers such as Love Like A Man, Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen and the climactic I’m Going Home, breathing new life into the epic creation which had provided one of the highlights of the legendary Woodstock Festival more than two decades earlier.
The Complete Willie and the Poor Boys (Edsel Records). Willie and the Poor Boys was the brainchild of former Stone Bill Wyman, who put together this loose knit musical combo in order to raise much-needed funds to help to finance the cost of medical treatment for cashstrapped fellow bass player Ronnie Lane, who’d recently been struck down by the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. Wyman enlisted the services of rock luminaries such as Jimmy Page, Charlie Watts and Paul Rodgers to support the project and the fruits of their collective labours are gathered together here, including affectionate revamps of much loved oldies such as Amos Milburn’s Chicken Shack Boogie, Otis Redding’s These Arms Of Mine and Little Richard’s infectious 1956 hit Slippin’ and Slidin’.
Summer Songs Summer Love Summer Fun (Fantastic Voyage). This timely anthology showcases more than eighty tracks which first saw the light of day more than half a century ago, all of them linked by the common theme of summer. These charmingly dated throwbacks to the golden age of innocuous pop in the late 50s and early 60s include one-hit wonder Jerry Keller’s celebration of teenage innocence, Here Comes The Summer, The Danleers’ doowop classic, One Summer Night and a genuine rarity in the shape of the 17 year old Carole King‘s 1959 B-side, Queen of the Beach.