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LONDON GUITAR ACADEMY
With the February cold weather starting to bite, LGA reviewer, Paul Wood, warms up his ears with a look back over his favourite albums of 2016. These are albums which are probably not going to appear on the “popular” mainstream lists of albums of the year, but are albums which we certainly think are worthy of your attention.
Part 4’s album selection is “My Way Home” by Eli “Paperboy” Reed.
For this album (his fifth) Eli “Paperboy” Reed (guitar/vocals) has put together a basic “brass free” band of:
JB Flatt: Organ
Michael Isvara Montgomery: Bass
Noah James Rubin: Drums
Loren Humphrey: Percussion
The stripped down nature of the band is emphasized in the sound of the album. Whereas the previous Warner Brothers album “Nights Like This” took the classic Reed ‘60s soul sound and gave it a smooth studio pop/soul polish, this album (on independent label Yep Roc) is a real throwback to his gospel/soul/R’n’B roots.
The sound throughout is reminiscent of the 60s analogue age, it’s as if the polished digital era had never been invented and the sound is all the better for it. The whole album has an authenticity which would just simply have been lost with a more polished production.
Reed is on fine form throughout – preachin’ and hollerin’ as if his life depended on it, his gospel/soul vocals backed up with typically fiery Reed guitar. Opening track “Hold Out” blasts out of the speakers and sets the tempo for his most energetic albums (and one of the best) of his career to date.
2nd cut “Your Sins Will Find You Out” kick-starts with a typical Stax/Steve Cropper burst of short guitar before moving into the main song melody. There’s great guitar throughout this track and it’s immediately followed by the seriously funky “Cut Ya Down”.
Here’s a link to the official video for “Your Sins Will Find You Out”:
“Movin’” and the album’s title track “My Way Home” both go for a more subtle vocal pleading and the latter could well be the album’s standout track.
Here’s a link to the official video for “My Way Home”:
“Tomorrow’s Not Promised” has a classic 60s soul sound and is the poppiest (in a good way) track on the album.
On the album closer Eli asks “What Have We Done” and the answer, Eli, is to make one seriously good record. It’s well worth giving this album a listen.
For more details about Eli “Paperboy” Reed, releases, upcoming dates and appearances etc see:
Album released by, and available from, Yep Roc:
Eli “Paperboy” Reed has toured the UK before and, although no current dates are scheduled here, he’s a great a live act. Go and see him if he comes over to the UK again.
Blast from the past
Here’s a link to the official full band “performance video” for “Come And Get It” (the title track of his 3rd album):
The Nashville Diary
LGA’s Country & Bluegrass specialist Luca Serino has been spending some time in Nashville – America’s Live Music Capital! Check out his blog here……
I spent a week in Nashville over the Christmas holidays; this was not my first visit, in fact it was visit number six, so pilgrimage may be more appropriate.
I could write at length about Nashville as the ideal city without ever mentioning music: excellent (and reasonably priced) food, beautiful neighbourhoods (also reasonably priced, for now, if you ever think of moving), friendly locals with a soothing accent, an unintimidating skyline and a maximum commute of 15 minute anywhere within the city.
Oh, and I had a life changing guitar lesson with Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers and fellow Tony Rice disciple, but that deserves its own chapter in the diary so will tell you about it next time.
But Nashville is Music City, USA and my enduring memories of the city the music: almost every musician I have heard there I would consider somewhere between ‘the next big thing’ and simply world class.
Here are some the highlights of what I heard (and saw):
Part 1 – Dan Donato and the Cosmic Country Band
After dipping in and out of a few honky tonks on Broadway, all with excellent live music, we landed on ‘the one’ – Nudies – where the ‘Cosmic Country Band’ were playing a mix of Elvis, Johnny Cash and other classics. The band featured Dan Donato on guitar who consistently blew away even the most jaded listeners on Broadway (doormen in their 70s wearing large brim Stetsons who look a lot like Bill Monroe).
Listening to him reminded me of the difference between a virtuoso and a real pro – taste, restraint and groove – he could shred better than almost anyone I’ve seen but also did so at the appropriate time; more importantly his rhythm was impeccable and he did not waste a single note.
I looked Dan up afterwards and he is all over the web – Guitar Player Magazine calls him the new “Master of Telecaster”:
Oh, and he mentioned that they play at Nudie’s for 4 hours, 3 days a week – that’s how the Beatles got their chops while in Hamburg!
Anwyway, enough talking, here’s the music: