Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Marcus Malone, "Stand or Fall" (Redline Music)-Detroit born Malone has been making quite an impact on the European concert and festival  circuit during the past few years and this earthy  performer's  sixth album is a gem of the highest order, boasting some compelling  original  material  delivered by a finely honed band steeped in the spirit of the blues. The singer-guitarist's  vocals may be eerily reminiscent of Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company fame on tracks such as "Living The Blues" and "Under Pressure" but he's a major talent in his own right too, and "Stand or Fall" should be an essential purchase for blues enthusiasts everywhere.

                           Simon Nicol,"Before Your Time / Consonant Please Carol" (Talking Elephant  TECD 237 / 238)- Fairport Convention's reassuringly reliable singer and guitarist hasn't been too active on the solo recording front over the years but  his work always repays closer attention ,and 1987's "Before Your Time" is a particularly affecting piece of work. The contents include  Linda Thompson's stunning vocal rendition of "I Live Not Where I Love" and  two classic anti-war songs in the shape of "The Deserter" and Huw Williams' "Rosemary's Sister," with invaluable instrumental support supplied by fellow Fairporters such as Dave Pegg, Gerry Conway and fiddler Ric Sanders.

                           "The Very Best of the Everly Brothers" (Rhino Records)- The Everlys' trailblazing country pop sound is captured in all its exquisitely harmonised beauty by  this memorable new  anthology from Rhino Records. Many of  the songs which influenced rock luminaries including  Paul McCartney and Paul Simon during their formative years  were penned by the husband and wife team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant but the Kentucky duo were also excellent tunesmiths  in their own right,bequeathing timeless gems such as "Cathy's Clown," "So Sad" and "When Will I Be Loved" to posterity. 

                            Delbert & Glen,"Blind,Crippled and Crazy" (New West NW 6274)-  Delbert  McClinton has displayed an admirable disregard for  the vagaries of fad and fashion throughout a musical career which now spans more than half a century,and "Blind,Crippled and Crazy" finds him  reviving  the  partnership with  fellow Texan Glen Clark which spawned two excellent albums during the early seventies.  The duo's robust  blend  of blues,country and soul should be required listening for roots music devotees everywhere ,with "Been Around A Long Time," "World Of Hurt" and "Good As I Feel Today" emerging as the best of a gritty bunch.

                            Dunedin Consort / Butt, "Mozart : Requiem" (Linn CKD 449)- Scotland's  Dunedin Consort  have made their name with a series of carefully researched recordings  of Baroque masterpieces such as Bach's " Brandenburg Concertos" and "St.John Passion," but this stunning new Linn CD finds them attempting to recreate the sound that the audience would have experienced at the first official performance of Mozart's "Requiem" in 1793. As an exercise in historical reconstruction  it's well nigh impeccable, with director John Butt marshalling his resources superbly to create a richly detailed  rendition of this much loved work.

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