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Never a stranger to playful rocking, the veteran may let it rumble on “Rush” whose bluesy curlicues abate to bare the piece’s acoustic lining and then make room for a slider’s rolling up and down the fretboard and into the multi-layered funk of “Dangerous Daisy” where various six-string approaches rule the day. Yet showing-off isn’t part of this albums agenda as the Delta meander of “Love Is Blind” suggests, leaving Robin George not in the throes of “Painful Kiss” but on the wayward wing. 4/5 Stars (July 2018)

…the album contains a lot of brilliant guitar, supported by a good rhythm section. ‘RedOut’ has a LED ZEPPELIN feel with a worthy guitar solo, which is very supportive. ‘Go Down Fighting 2018′ is a kind of wild boogie where the voice of Robin GEORGE is very convincing, just like his guitar. An AC/DC vibe is evident thanks to a recognizable riff on ‘Dark & Stormy Night’. GEORGE teases the guitar again on ‘Dancing Shoes Again’, he really does not need help to make his music swing, except from his drummer. A last box of riffs with ‘Love Is Blind’. An album where we can only dream of being as good a guitarist as him.

Highlands Magazine (Translated – July 2018)

Brand new album from legendary singer-songwriter/guitarist Robin George. Rogue Angels is yet another explosive blast of rockin’ tracks from this ultra talented fellow. Listening to these songs, you’d never ever guess that George has been making music for as long as he has. You’d also never guess that he plays all the instruments on this album except for drums (courtesy of master percussionist Charlie Morgan). Rather than sounding like a collection of one man band recordings, these tracks have all the intense energy of a full band playing live. If you love guitars, you’re almost certain to love the sound of these recordings. Built upon solid rhythms and thick bass lines, these tracks are driven by some totally killer electric guitar riffs. This guy’s one of the best players out there…

This is one of those cases where a musician hits his prime at a later point in his career. Instead of burning out or fading away, George’s music seems to become more energized and magnetic. We can’t imagine any fan of real rock music not having an immediate attraction to cuts like “Wild Eyed Beauty Queen,” “Rush,” “Red Out” “Surreal Dream,” and “Love Is Blind.” Featuring some of the best rockin’ tracks we’ve heard in 2018, Rogue Angels is a solid and direct HIT. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.

babysue (May 2018)

With his strange worn out voice he mysteriously entices you in alongside his killer guitar work whose been on the scene for three plus decades now.

Robin is an intriguing artist who even wrote for the likes of Robert Plant, Phil Lynott and Glenn Hughes and has many an album out in his own right. He fires up on eleven cuts on this brand new release that feature Charlie Morgan too on drums with highlights including the sticking in your head opener ‘Wild Eyed Beauty Queen’ to the blues of ‘Love Is Blind’.

In between you’ll come across numbers like the catchy title track ‘Rogue Angels’; ‘Surreal Dream’ that puts me in mind of ‘Breath’ by The Prodigy in part of the chorus or the cheesy rocky poppified ‘Dancing Shoes Again’.

It is really a grower of an album after you get used to his throaty voice. 7.5/10

Metalliville Zine (May 2018)

Over a vast and varied career Robin George has created a hugely eclectic body of work, but with the hard rocking, blues edged energy of Rogue Angels it really feels like this singer, guitarist and songwriter is making music that completely satisfies his creative need. Surely it’s no coincidence that it also comes across as one of the most impressive albums he’s put his name to.

Sea Of Tranquility (May 2018)

Over the years, since debut solo album, Dangerous Games (1985), George’s songs and production have gained an instantly identifiable style. Themes of love, peace and perseverance are now hardwired into his lyrics…touchingly referring to maternal inspiration on ‘Play Nice’, and resurrecting ‘Go Down Fighting’s ode to the common man, on this 2018 version. Musically, he has perfected the “Alien” technique, where great melodies burst forth from an arrangement seemingly stitched together from fragments of guitar, bass and drum harmonies…especially effective on ‘Surreal Dream’ and ‘Wild Eyed Beauty Queen’.

Where so many Eighties AOR survivors come back with albums mired in the sound of dead horses being flogged, George gives the genre’s faded grandeur a fresh coat of paint.

The Midlands Rocks (May 2018)

Rogue Angels is a rare treasure, an original and innovative work of art, which seduces us subtly, throughout our mysterious journey. A Surreal Dream of Rogue Angels and Wild-Eyed Beauty Queens striding through Dark and Stormy Nights; lyrically, we’re enchanted as we leap between light and shade. Musically, we’re enthralled as the maestros, Robin and Charlie, power through this mind-blowing rock symphony.

…Surreal Dream whisks us into the weird and wonderful ‘bitter sweet’ world caught between dreams and nightmares. It combines mesmerizing Eastern rhythms with spectacular ‘pedal to the metal’ guitar and mesmerizing tribal drums. The enchanting, whimsical lyrics are full of humour as witches and Rogue Angels consort with the Bilston Market cowboys!

Deeper into the dreamscape, One Dark and Stormy Night is pure delight. It’s a rock n roll lullaby you never want to end, a bedtime story you gotta dance to and a tune you just can’t get outta your head all night!

Love is Blind is down and dirty, gritty blues rock that resounds with mind-blowing guitar work. The almost symphonic solo slides, roars and climbs; irresistibly dragging you in. Lyrically beautiful, vocally dynamic and musically magical. A fitting end to the Rogue Angels album, which is an undeniable original, and, indeed, a modern masterpiece.

Vivienne Leonard (May 2018)

Robin George played for over thirty years in the shadow of well known musicians such as Brian May, Roy Wood or Robert Plant. Time for recognition: his recent solo album ‘Rogue Angels’ on Angel Air Records, with melodic slide guitar and strong riffs, will blow you away.

Keys and Chords (May 2018)

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By 1983, when Edwin Starr relocated to Albion, his hits had dried up, yet there still was too much honey in the veteran’s voice to stop – and he tried, again and again. The American’s association with Hippodrome Records didn’t even result in a longplay, but it brought about a handful of ’45s that are collected on a single disc…

…it would be impossible to stop Starr’s sweet roar on “I Need Your Love” and the collection’s title track which sees him namecheck fallen heroes: Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, and Jackie Wilson. (August 2018)

This CD contains all of the tracks that Edwin recorded for Hippodrome Records. Sadly Edwin died on April 2, 2003. I worked with Edwin a couple of times and he was a very nice guy…

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (June 2018)

The complete output of the late Edwin Starr on Hippodrome Records is on this album. More disco oriented material from 1985-1986.

Keys and Chords (June 2018)

‘Soul Singer’ collects his mid-80s singles for the label and while he suffered the trappings of the decade, 1985′s ‘It Ain’t Fair’ and 1986′s title track are notable: the first driven by Starr’s remarkably intact tough vocal; the second, a touching tribute to soul itself: “In the year 1965 soul music was very much alive, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye,” he sings.

Record Collector (June 2018)

These hitherto unreleased on CD tracks represent Edwin’s entire output for Peter Stringfellow’s Hippodrome label during 1985 and 1986, including the distinctly disco oriented revamps of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1000 Dances.”

Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (May 2018)

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THE UGLY GUYS Senior Moments


This is the third album from Americana-style band The Ugly Guys. Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins were together originally in the Kursaal Flyers, who in 1976 had a UK top 20 hit with “Little Does She Know”. 12 new songs here…there is also a bonus track, a live version of Little Feat’s “Willin’”.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (June 2018)

…”Gold Fever” however does fit the Americana bill, a popping, muted cowbell adding an urgency and immediacy to the never wasteful guitar strikes and deeply authentic vocals. “Pretty Pretty Lies”, finds Shuttleworth’s voice adding a slightly more fragile tone, bringing an interesting vulnerability to a confident call of country riff and roll, while it’s maybe the Oliver fronted “OL’45″ that possesses the deepest, boogieing groove, where the good times just keepin’ on keepin’ on and a few doowops are added for good measure. However it’s when Senior Moments gets pensive and poised, as it does on “Neil Young In The Dark”, which unsurprisingly is reminiscent of the great man himself, that this band unveil their strongest side. Yes they can rock, yes they can roll and yes they can start a party, but The Ugly Guys can also pull at the heartstrings and remind you of better days gone by and the good times ahead; which is a rare skill indeed.

There may not be many twists or turns on Senior Moments, but with that album title itself alluding to the more mature outlook this collection contains, maybe it would have been more shocking if it did. More importantly however, and through a gentle variety of styles, The Ugly Guys will keep you entertained and celebrating the good things in life and that in itself is reason enough to join them.

Sea Of Tranquility (May 2018)

….Sonically, it’s spectacularly turned in, with guitarist/mandolinist Steve Oliver and pedal-steel player Vic Collins displaying chops the equal of any Nashville sessioneers and a gloss to the mix worthy of Tom Dowd. Listen to ‘Neil Young In The Dark’ for that Southern Soul vibe.

RnR Magazine (May 2018)

Five seniors who bring, with craftsmanship, qualitative ‘feel good’ Americana. That is the essence of ‘Senior Moments’. Nice album!

Keys and Chords (April 2018)

The Ugly Guys are easily the best exponents of Country Rock or Cosmic American Music as Gram Parsons – anyone who worships Bernie Leadon era Eagles, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark and the Parsons- Hillman model of The Flying Burrito Brothers should pounce on Senior Moments post haste.

What sets The Ugly Guys apart from the wannabes is their musical proficiency, songwriting smarts and lead vocalist Paul Shuttleworth’s soulful edge. All songs, save a fine live version of Little Feat’s Willin’, are originals that primarily come from Shuttleworth and guitarist Steve Oliver- all boast a lyricism that’s closer to Texas storytellers like Robert Earl Keen and Butch Hancock. There’s also a touch of hard-boiled fiction in the narrative sweep of King Of Dixie, Mama Has Gone, and Handsome Boy. Whereas the evocative Neil Young In The Dark mixes Gene Pitney with Bakersfield Country and E Street Band.

Unlike like many current Alt-Country units, The Ugly Guys can rock out with authority. It’s all there – cry-in-your-beer vocals, keening pedal steel guitar, the hard twang of a Telecaster and the authentic grunt of Pub Rock rhythm section. Once again, The Ugly Guys have made beautiful music.

Michael Macdonald (April 2018)

This is the third album from Americana style band The Ugly Guys. Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins were together originally in The Kursaal Flyers who in 1976 had a UK top 20 hit with ‘Little Does She Know’…12 new songs here including ‘King Of Dixie’, ‘Gold Fever’, ‘Ol’ 45′, ‘Neil Young In The Dark’ and ‘Dixie Grass’, there’s also a bonus track…

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (March 2018)

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Check out Jim’s new music video for the track ‘Charmed’, taken from his new solo album ‘Walking In The Wild Land’ – available now from Angel Air Records.

Click here to order your copy of ‘Walking In The Wild Land’!

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It’s easy to fall under the spell of opener “Top Shelf” whose irresistible, insistent riffs betray the ensemble’s old-school blues-based rock, slider rolling across the fretboard and refrain infecting the listener with a wish to join the party, yet, despite the six-string filigree, the sneer and simple beat which fill the funky “Toxic Love” reveal the group’s fascination with post-punk, and not for nothing they used to frequent the “CBGB” stage. But if the swaggering “Rock Now” and the moderately heavy “Trappin’ Me In” have the “in your face” quality, “Like The Rain” is very much rootsy – its jangle and vocal harmonies wouldn’t feel out of place and time in the ’60s – the funereal ballad “Come Back Lover” should fathom the depth of the band’s emotional crunch.

Unfortunately, all these strands coming together in “Shock Wave” fail to produce a memorable performance, whereas the saving grace of the equally groovy “Love So Large” is, again, rock ‘n’ roll licks that somehow undermine the piece’s anthemic message only to take “Best Friend” beyond the pale; and when there’s a need for reflection, it’s best to make it as frantic as “Get Inside Yourself” is – dipped in Delta, albeit looking contemporary. Ostensibly, the group didn’t stop, another album is long overdue; until the record is delivered, “The Zippers” are here for all to catch up. 4 / 5 Stars (April 2018)

Reissue of the debut album from The Zippers that was originally released on the MCA label in 1990…This is the first time we’ve heard this music. Based on the first track (“Top Shelf”) we can see why these guys might’ve been lumped into the hair/metal category. But some of the other tracks are very surprising, falling squarely into power pop terrain. Callahan wrote the majority of the songs, and it’s interesting how much variety you’ll hear on these ten tracks. Produced by Freddie Salem, these recordings have stood the test of time very well. It would certainly seem appropriate if this reissue yielded a surprise hit single so many years after the fact, because this is one of those cool treasures that just somehow got lost in the shuffle over the years. Cool guitar-driven pop/rock tracks include “Toxic Love,” “Like The Rain” (our favorite), “Love So Large,” and “Get Inside Yourself.”

babysue (March 2018)

The fare on offer ranges from the J. Geils Band’s Centerfold-like stylings of “Top Shelf” through The Cars-style power pop of “Like The Rain” to “Come Back Lover”, a dead ringer for the Stone’s Angie…worth filing alongside Petty and Mellencamp if US power pop is your bag.

Record Collector (March 2018)

I can’t tell you that The Zippers’ self titled effort is an all time classic, but it’s certainly far too good to have been ignored for 28 years. If you like honest, no frills hard rock without the metal pretensions – but which also doesn’t take itself too seriously – then this band and album may well be something of a find.

Sea Of Tranquility (March 2018)

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…Not for nothing there’s a call-out to Mr. Metronome in the crooning of “Nice And Loose” which is set to the old-timey acoustic backing, whereas the folksy fiddle and lap steel drive “It Cuts No Ice” and its “Que Sera, Sera” reference towards sweet fatalism, so time is fluid here. That’s why “Lowdown Blues” – which is limited to vocals and guitar – has a high-ground hope in the piece’s heart, as does the raw plea of “Just Stay Blue” pouring out sadness to make room for purer, albeit harp-smeared, plans: Norman needs a solid point to hold on to. While Brighton Pier from the record’s cover is rather rigid, “Slipping Through My Fingers” will find Baker doubting the permanence of his personal stability and looking for the glorious trumpets of freedom in other waters. Spanish drama behind “The Woman In Grey” and the delicious serenade in “The Belly Of The Beast” should provide him with emotional anchor, yet the unplugged encore “Perhaps” is able to locate it in simple truths.

Whether this might be the reason to stay blue is open to debate, but if the way to blue is so alluring it’s better to follow the lead. ****3/4 (May 2018)

Don’t let the name fool you: the record comprises eleven tracks which span an eclectic range of genres, from blues to jazz, folk to country, there’s even a sea shanty in there for good measure (‘Shipping Forecast’, complete with its very own music video)…Favourite moments are ‘It Cuts No Ice’, a catchy country tune with a fair stab at an American accent to boot, and a lovely acoustic folk number ‘Perhaps’.

Viva Lewes Magazine (April 2018)

It has to be remarked that, whilst Baker’s bitter-sweet vocals are perhaps an acquired taste, there’s a bravery associated with putting one’s heart and soul “out there”, so while he may be short of a Baker’s Dozen, these eleven tracks are hopefully the first of many improved songs to be recorded and released in future. A competent, offbeat, somewhat appealing collection and so worth a second motion.

Mark Watkins (March 2018)

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“Shipping Forecast” is taken from Norman Baker’s new album “Staying Blue” available from Angel Air Records.

Click here to order your copy of ‘Shipping Forecast’!

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JIM McCARTY Walking In The Wild Land


Relaxing ballads, traditional atmosphere, and light rock denoting a blessed idleness allied to an undeniable musical know-how…A happy recording, calm and beautiful, sung without excess and with beautiful, confident melodies… No title really stands out from another, no hit, just beautiful songs. Fortunately, albums like this one are still being released.

Highlands Magazine (Translated – May 2018)

…’Changing Times’ sounds very relaxed. A folky ballad in which stately strings play a pumping role and in which a light psychedelic atmosphere hangs. The same psychedelic 60′s atmosphere is also present in the ballad ‘Mountain Song’. A song in which, if you listen carefully, you can hear some Eastern influences. ‘Right On The Road’ has a high Gerry Rafferty level. A ballad with a beautiful steel guitar in the background…

Guitarist Alex Lifeson, from the band Rush, is a guest on the folk-pop song ‘Soft In A Hard Place’, in which he disrupts the soothing atmosphere with a splitting guitar solo. Through the whirling piano in ‘Dancing Leaves’ you can indeed see the leaves languidly dancing in a song that reminds us of the trio America in terms of sound. ‘Stop Living Life In The Past’ is a folk-pop ballad in which everything is just right. The soothing instrumentation, the pleasant voice of Jim and a very catchy melody. ‘In The Clear’ describes when joy and relief meet you. A number in which the relief after hearing a positive result at the doctor is well worded.

In ‘Connected’ we go on the 60′s pop tour with nice pumping piano and a sound that goes back to, for example, a band like Procol Harum…

Jim McCarty has delivered a very pleasant singer-songwriter album that radiates peace and satisfaction…

Blues (Translated – May 2018)

…I feel presently that this, the third release attributed to him alone, is a strong contender for the finest he’s created in any of his incarnations. Even a determined adherence to moderato throughout enhances rather than detracts from the intrigue. One of its minor attractions is how the obviously autobiographical tracks prompt guesswork as to their subjects, especially if you’ve a glimmer of McCarty’s personal history.

While ‘In The Clear’ and ‘Charmed’ touch, respectively on medical matters and vicissitudes of a travelling life, it was necessary to ask him directly whether ‘Right On the Road’ addresses the late Keith Relf. Elsewhere, the lyrical ruminations, instanced by the enchanting melancholia that is ‘Dancing Leaves’.

RnR Magazine (May/June 2018)

…’Charmed’ has a haunting trumpet, ‘In The Clear’ verges on late 60′s acid-folk-pop with its flute and hum-along riff, ‘Come Around The Corner’ has gospel harmonies while ‘Connected’ is almost a pop track. All the while McCarty’s vocal are echoey and distant, as if he’s gazing a the sunset on the far horizon. It could all have gone so terribly wrong but he manages to keep everything in focus, creating an understated gem.

Record Collector magazine (May 2018)

It’s a pastoral album; folkier than not, more acoustic than anything else, and the accompanying booklet, with its vivacious vignettes of wildlife and wonder, matches the mood as perfectly as the music and lyrics. So, if the occasional song (the life-on-the-road but-not-weary “Charmed,” the salutary “In the Clear,” the admonitory “Stop Living Life in the Past”) do break that spell a little, it’s only so they can weave a fresh one.

And in between times, “Dancing Leaves,” “Mountain Song” and the opening title track in particular imbibe Walking In The Wild Land with a genuine sense of good fortune – ours’, that McCarty should have chosen this path when others no doubt seemed a lot simpler.

Goldmine Magazine (April 2018)

…Of course, he’s much more in awe of nature – the mantra of “Mountain Song” and transparent balladry of “Dancing Leaves” testify to that in a mesmerizing manner, whereas the solemn “Come Around The Corner” finds Jim looking for the next different sight, and “So Many Questions” welcomes mystery into an ordinary life, the life McCarty’s up for at this day and age. “We’re held into this state that is so tightly cast”: that’s not for him anymore, as he’s “free of all pretences” after fame and fortune proved not the precious things in the world, which is why “Walking In The Wild Land” has gravity and wonder in it. 4½ / 5 Stars (April 2018)

These tracks sound fresh and inspired, particularly when you consider Mr. McCarty’s long and involved musical career. Interesting that the album was recorded at Toronto’s No. 9 Studios, because the overall sound reminds us of some of the more current Canadian artists in the twenty-first century. Jim’s voice is sounding mighty impressive these days. He’s got a super smooth delivery that is immediately inviting and genuine. Whether you’re familiar with his past bands or not, if you like smooth acoustic guitar driven pop you’re almost certain to appreciate these tracks. Cool melodic cuts include “Walking in the Wild Land,” “Mountain Song,” “Soft in a Hard Place,” and “Come Around the Corner.”

babysue (March 2018)

With a huge catalogue of work behind him, it would be easy for drum legend Jim McCarty to simply rest on his laurels and hark back to days of yore. Instead he’s taken some classic themes and invigorated them with an enthusiasm and love of the here and now. It may be gentle and soothing for most of its duration but when Jim McCarty goes Walking In The Wild Land, it’s a trek you should join him on, every step of the way.

Sea Of Tranquility (March 2018)

The album is bookended by two of its strongest numbers: ‘Walking In The Wild Land’ and ‘So Many Questions’. The former celebrates a “wild land”, free of all pretence while the latter bows out, questioning if wisdom and experience really are related. Equally worthy of a mention is the slightly foreboding ‘Changing Times’, the psychedelic ‘Mountain Song’, the autumnal ‘Dancing Leaves’ and a simple warning to the listener: ‘Stop Living Life In The Past’.

Shindig Magazine (March 2018)

Relaxing ballads, traditional atmosphere, and light rock denoting a blessed idleness allied to an undeniable musical know-how…A happy recording, calm and beautiful, sung without excess and with beautiful, confident melodies… No title really stands out from another, no hit, just beautiful songs. Fortunately, albums like this one are still being released.

Highlands Magazine (Translated – March 2018)

‘Walking In The Wild Land’ is Jim’s third solo album and features his songs and vocals in a psychedelic/folkie style.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (February 2018)

Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty has arguably never received the recognition that he deserved for his innovative contributions to rock classics such as “Shapes of Things,” “Over Under Sideways Down’” and “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago,” and the veteran musician is still striving manfully to keep the band’s name alive despite being well into his seventies now. Jim’s third solo album serves up an agreeable batch of songs in a gently psychedelic folk rock mould, with his old Renaissance sidekick John Hawken lending a hand on “Right on the Road” and “Connected,” and Rush’s Alex Lifeson chipping in on lead guitar on one of the stand-out tracks, ” Soft in a Hard Place.”

Kevin Bryan, Original (February 2018)

Forget Jim McCarty ‘The Yardbirds drummer’ and switch to Jim McCarty the guitarist, composer and singer because it’s this Jim McCarty who has just released his third solo album. He wrote all twelve melodic, quiet, almost fragile songs in which he contemplates about nature, life, time, destiny and the questions that must remain unanswered forever. The philosophical mood of this album is further enhanced by instruments such as the flugelhorn and the violin. A lovely antidote.

Keys and Chords (February 2018)

The former Yardbirds drummer and founding member of the original incarnation of Renaissance releases his 3rd solo CD at a time of life when most people have adopted a more sedentary lifestyle…these compositions are closer in feel to the folk-rock leanings of Renaissance. In places it feels like early Kate Bush…

Southern Daily Echo (February 2018)

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James Warren performs ‘Set Me Free’ at the Rondo Theatre, Bath. ‘Set Me Free’ is featured on James’ new album ‘Innocent Bystander’ available now from Angel Air Records.

Click here to order your copy of “Innocent Bystander”!

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NICK HOOPER performs “The South Wind” taken from the album “6 Strings” released on 8th June 2018.

Posted in Angel Air News | Leave a comment