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In 2016, the legendary guitarist and composer Gordon Giltrap underwent two lots of major surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. He recovered remarkably well from both surgeries and has since been able to return to his life as a working musician.
Gordon decided as a way of saying thank you to the surgeons and nursing team at the hospital, he would create an album from a previous release with additional new tracks to raise money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity.
The end result is a remarkable work entitled Heartsongs featuring major artists from the rock world who played on the opening track and the closing track. Names familiar to many like, Brian May of Queen, Midge Ure, Steve Howe from Yes, Neil Murray from Black Sabbath, Simon Phillips from Toto, and last but not least that national treasure Rick Wakeman.
Whilst putting the album together Gordon’s son Jamie tragically passed away. This album is dedicated to his memory.
Buchanan’s melodic improvisation on an instrumental ‘Secret Love’ and inventiveness of his playing on ‘Blues For Gary’ are mind-blowing and when, virtually out of the blue he launches his massively distorted, lightning fast solo on ‘You Gotta Let Me Know’ it’s hard not to fall off one’s seat in amazement…an interesting thirty-minute contemporary interview is added.
Blues In Britain (October 2018)
…from today’s perspective the tight pulse of “You Gotta Let Me Know” must be a perfect example of how sexed-up – and at the same time, intelligent – the marriage of blues to disco can be, Buchanan’s six strings going for filigree groans, while keyboard player Paul Jacobs’ vocal attack feels more gracious than wild here. The disposition will be reversed with the title track where Roy’s reserve is lifted to set his liquid licks and Paul’s roar and piano roll free, although there’s also mellifluous, if muscular, suppleness to “It Should’ve Been Me” which could easily challenge Gladys Knight’s version of this classic.
Just as scintillating, “Lack Of Funk” may focus on the era-favored rhythm and fail, had it not been for the hot handling of a fretboard and the “Entrance Of The Gladiators” quote close to the song’s coda, and “Dr. Rock & Roll” is too glossy and superfluous for Buchanan – saved only by his group’s vigor. That’s what’s missing from the unhurried reading of “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” whose dancefloor destination feels good nevertheless, yet the master’s tone on “Secret Love” demonstrates enchanting transparency, his Telecaster imitating mandolin and pedal steel along the way. Further down the line, “My Sonata” – one of the two instrumentals Roy penned for this project – embraces penumbral romance, albeit not to the extent of “Blues For Gary” that’s deeply emotional, especially when upper regions of the neck are caressed.
It’s clear what influence the number’s writer had on its hero’s namesake Moore, and this reissue bonus, a 30-minute interview with Buchanan, explains many other things. Thankfully, Roy would receive another chance to let his guitar do the talking, but “My Babe” remains a testimony to the greatness of the master’s worst works. ****
DMME.net (September 2018)
Roy Buchanan’s 1980 album My Babe has been unavailable for over 25 years so this is a most welcome release from Angel Air. Produced by Roy himself, the album featured vocalist Paul Jacobs who Roy had brought in to front the band so, although there’s plenty of his solos throughout, there are just the three trademark Buchanan instrumentals. ‘Secret Love’ is the Doris Day hit while his own quite beautiful ‘My Sonata’ is dedicated to Judy, his wife of 20 years. The lengthy (8 1/2 minute) ‘Blues To Gary’ was record after label executive Gary Marx had encouraged Roy to add what Gary called “a Roy Buchanan rocking blues solo” to the album. This gives Roy the chance to stretch out as only Roy could.
Pipeline Magazine (September 2018)
Roy Buchanan was an American guitarist and blues musician from Arkansas who pioneered the Fender Telecaster sound to acclaim from many fellow guitarists including Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton…Originally released in 1980, ‘My Babe’ is now available on this budget priced CD – the other musicians on the album are Paul Jacobs, Gordon Johnson, Ron Foster, Dan Brubeck and Richard Crooks…
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (August 2018)
“My Babe” was the eighth album of Roy’s long and decidedly patchy career, first released in 1980 and boasting some typically eloquent instrumentals such as “Blues For Gary” and “My Sonata” alongside soulful covers of Little Walter’s “My Babe” and Yvonne Fair’s Motown classic, “It Should Have Been Me”.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (August 2018)
…the opening salvo of “You Gotta Let Me Know” is a mighty affair, a New Wave vibe bursting through a staccato pulse and memorable chorus. With the fret abuse matched by some gloriously OTT vocals from keyboard player Paul Jacobs, it’s a full on introduction to My Babe. And one which this album’s title track continues to boogie on into the night with. This time it’s a piano and organ combination that lays the foundations for this funky slice of honest rock and again Jacobs proves a stunning vocal foil for the stinging guitar work that you know will knock your socks off.
Sea Of Tranquility (August 2018)
Guitar-wise, Buchanan was a technical wizard, his playing characterised by pinch harmonic ‘whistles’ and tonal effects obtained solely from his technique rather than external ‘effects’…This reissue of an album that was only ever available on CD for a short time in the States is most interesting for the added 30 minute contemporaneous promotional interview (also including some of the tracks)…Thirty years on from his untimely death, this is a timely reissue.
Get Ready to ROCK! (July 2018)
Bell’s raw emotional directness is in keeping with Janis Joplin’s. Yet even in the throes of passion, the Glasgow native retains close sight of a lyric’s narrative meaning. She really works wonders with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee’s ‘Penicillin Blues’. The eight solo career tunes on disc two encourage full investigations of her albums ‘Queen Of The Night’ (produced by Jerry Wexler) and ‘Suicide Sal’, both Angel Air reissues.
Downbeat Magazine (November 2018)
There’s irrepressible energy to “Big Jim Salter” where Harvey’s guitar riff and Leahy’s organ roll reign supreme before psychedelic funk takes over yet, for all the electric attack the ensemble used to unleash, there’s exquisite acoustic discipline making “Blind Man” – where six-string lace and voice are laid bare – profoundly emotive…
…The country-tinctured “I Was In Chains” can be Maggie’s anthem for she never found the freedom required to carry on to stardom with STC or on her own, but whereas their legend keeps on thrilling new listeners, she’s still out there – still, belting out blues with the same vim. And these two CDs are a nice introduction to the world of those who might fly high yet didn’t have time to soar. ****
DMME.net (September 2018)
The first CD of this double compiles tracks from all four albums by Scottish blues-rockers Stone The Crows, recorded from 1970 to 1973. The playing is terrific and Maggie Bell sings strikingly although the tracks where she performs with restraint have aged the best…The second CD mostly comprises tracks from Bell’s first two solo albums, the Jerry Wexler-produced ‘Queen Of The Night’ (1974), which features musicians like Steve Gadd and Cornell Dupree, and ‘Suicide Sal’ (1975), Bell’s singing is more consistent than on the Stone The Crows material and she interprets, beautifully the likes of Mike Moran’s ‘No Mean City’ (theme from Taggart), Paul Kossoff/Simon Kirke’s ‘Hold On’, Alice Cooper’s ‘Only Women Bleed’ and Pete Wingfield’s ‘If You Don’t Know’ (on which Jimmy Page plays guitar).
RnR Magazine (September 2018)
A double disc CD package, this set is split between group and solo. The first disc cherry picks from Stone The Crows’ first four albums (lots of blues rock highlights are amongst them) and focuses upon the work completed between 1970 and 1973. The second CD is rather more targeted as it looks at Bell herself dipping into her first two solo LPs from 1974 and 1975 (arguably the more focused creations). There’s two exceptions to that neat list and its the live track from 1993, entitled Only Woman Bleed plus the track No Mean City which was used as the theme tune to TV’s drama show, Taggart. Supporting musicians including Jimmy Page, Phil May and Geoff Whitehorn.
…Bass is honed and punchy, giving the music a fast paced element while there is enough space around the soundstage to prevent any cluttering claustrophobia. That is, despite the profusion of backing singers and musicians, there’s plenty of instrumental separation to provide a relatively open and detailed presentation.
The Audiophile Man (August 2018)
Stone The Crows were – in the early 1970′s – a staple at festivals, popular on the student circuit, and managed by Led Zep’s supremo Peter Grant. Their early rise was effectively curtailed after May 1972 when their guitarist Les Harvey was electrocuted on stage in Swansea and sadly became another member of the “27 Club”.
Angel Air have done much to keep the band’s memory alive, and also highlighting their feisty singer Maggie Bell with several solo albums. The first disc showcases songs from the band’s four albums including – from the debut in 1970 – the glorious vocal pairing of Maggie Bell and Jim Dewar on two covers (a Josh White song ‘Blind Man’ and the Beatles’ ‘Fool On The Hill’)…
…The second disc highlights Maggie Bell’s solo work in the 1970s, extracted from the two albums ‘Queen Of The Night’ and ‘Suicide Sal’ expanded with the Taggart TV theme and a bonus live track.
Although Maggie semi-retired to Holland in the eighties – “with a husband and a dog” – in the last decade she has returned to Blighty and performed with several artists including long-time musical journeyman Colin Allen. She still performs regularly in Europe and the UK.
As a dip in the water for the newbie this compilation fits the bill but in truth the full albums are worthy of investment and are still available via Angel Air, with the four Stone The Crows albums housed on two double CDs. Given also that one side of the debut included the 17 minute ‘I Saw America’ and the omission here of ‘Love 74′. 4/5 Stars
Get Ready to ROCK! (August 2018)
Five of the first six tracks on CD 1 come from the band’s 1971 and 1972 albums, Teenage Licks and (the strangely named) Ontinuous. Barroom belter, ‘Good Time Girl’ and the Rolling Stonesy ‘Big Jim Salter’ are compact, smouldering packages of blues rock…The second disc is taken from Bell’s two splendid solo albums, favouring her second release, Suicide Sal, (1973). Angel Air’s first series of Bell remasters thrust her back into the spotlight, opening up her music – and her voice – to a new generation of fans. Some of the tracks here are simply timeless. The theme song to the TV Detective, Taggart, only scratched the surface. To the curious who investigated further, an undertow of incendiary, fiery performances was lying in wait, proving that Bell was not a blues, rock or soul singer, but was all of the above.
The Midlands Rocks (July 2018)
A good collection of songs that have stood up remarkably well to the tests of time, this best of set is an excellent way to discover the much underrated talent of Maggie Bell.
Sea Of Tranquility (July 2018)
Angel Air Records, a British independent label, has released ‘Best Of’, with the first album focusing on the Stone The Crows period, and the second one focusing on Maggie’s two solo experiences. In addition, ‘No Mean City’, the theme from the TV series Taggart, and the song ‘Only Women Bleed’ recorded live in Glasgow in 1993 were added. What a chance to (re) discover these wonders, such as ‘A Fool On The Hill’, a cover of The Beatles, the psychedelic ‘Ode To John Law’, and especially those moments of pure emotion that are ‘Sunset Cowboy’ and ‘The Touch Of Your Loving Hand’.
Prog Female Voices (Translated – June 2018)
Stone The Crows! – this is a super, blues explosion o hits and near misses from a lady who can certainly sing straight from the heart, and with as much soul. On her “new” release on Angel Air Records, Maggie Bell lets her hair down and so it’s a case of – let the good times roll! Across two CDs and twenty tracks…she’s been scandalously underrated and underappreciated over the years, however, I believe – looking back – history of rock will judge her far more kindly, and that proper recognition can begin with this brilliant treat of back catalogue…
Mark Watkins, Dare (June 2018)
CD 1 of this double set is devoted to Glasgow’s very talented Stone The Crows, with all tracks taken from their 4 albums recorded between 1970 and 1973…CD 2 is devoted to Maggie Bell with all tracks taken from her first 2 solo albums…
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (June 2018)
…this fine 2CD set is divided equally between her exploits with Stone The Crows and later as a solo performer, including excellent covers of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee’s “Penicillin Blues” as well as a touching tribute to the then recently departed Les Harvey in the shape of keyboardist Ronnie Leahy’s elegiac “Sunset Cowboy”.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (June 2018)
Following a successful decade as leader and singer-songwriter with Sailor, who had hits in the 70s with ‘Girls Girls Girls’, ‘One Drink Too Many’ and the splendid ‘A Glass Of Champagne’ and then further recognition as electronic act DATA, Georg Kajanus created Fatima And The Mamluks (what is a ‘mamluk’?), in the early eighties. They were aimed at the bulging dance floors of that period as much as the charts when, in 1983 Georg teamed up with former Sailor colleague Henry Marsh to write and record these tracks – it’s now released on this budget priced CD (or digital download).
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (August 2018)
The album was not released in the ’80s. This edition by Angel Air, a label that is mainly engaged in the field of rock and pop bands of the ’70s and ’80s, is thus its first release.
The five original masters bring together just 17 minutes. Four remixes of three titles, including an almost completely instrumental version of “Hassan”, then bring the album to more than twice the playing time. The mixes were created by the remix duo Razormaid Productions – Art Mahrag and Joseph Watt – for the American DJ market, where “Hassan” was quite successful in the 1980s.
For fans of beat-heavy disco and pop music The Hammer is well worth an ear…
Musik an Sich (Translated – August 2018)
Only 5 songs and 4 dance remixes, but much sought after by club fans. A wonderful mix of arabic sounds with new wave beats. Dance the night away!
Keys and Chords (July 2018)
This newly assembled Angel Air anthology focuses attention on the short-lived project masterminded by George Kajanus of Sailor fame in 1983. The bizarre, dance oriented results were certainly a far cry from his former outfit’s chart successes such as “Traffic Jam” or “A Glass Of Champagne,” but diehard Kajanus completists should welcome this opportunity to add some of the great man’s most obscure creative outpourings to their collections.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (July 2018)
Not a pastiche by any means, opener “Hassan” strives to create a new context for Levant tunes wrapping the chanteuse’s invocations in delicately textured techno whose beats are dipped in synthesizers’ waves, while the voice of Kajanus is driving “The Hammer & The Heart” through dervish-like swirls, raps and riffs towards memorable delirium. The “Ghostbusters” theme never far away from these humorous tracks, Fatima’s insistent cries “Yalla!” and demented trills over cavernous undercurrent lodge “Toubib” into the listener’s lobes, whereas “The Heart” would relocate a strings-drenched drift from the banks of the Nile to the southern side of the Seine to pour a glass of champagne over its balladry. But “Behne (I Won’t Follow)” is a hard-hitting slice of heavy funk which hasn’t dated a tad in the last three decades to remain ripe for rediscovery and be able to ride the charts of today.
Weirdly fascinating, this album still packs a charming punch and stands as testament to one’s boundless imagination. 4/5 stars.
DMME.net (June 2018)
“Souled Out” is taken from Glamweazel’s forthcoming album “The Great Unknown”, released in September on Angel Air Records.
“Neil Young In The Dark” is taken from The Ugly Guys’ new album “Senior Moments”, available from Angel Air Records.
Nick Hooper is a BAFTA award winning and GRAMMY nominated film and TV music composer. He is best known for writing the scores for 2 Harry Potter movies – ‘The Half Blood Prince’, and ‘The Order Of The Phoenix’…This lovely solo acoustic guitar album of Irish folk songs was recently recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London (where he previously recorded the Harry Potter soundtracks with an impressive 110 musicians).
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (July 2018)
Of the fourteen tracks on ’6 Strings’, there is a tune, ‘The Silver Lining’, by John Dipper, and thirteen sets of Irish tunes, eight traditional and five attributed to O’Carolan. Recorded and mastered at Abbey Road, this is a definitive collection of Irish melodies. Needless to say, the choices are superb, the arrangements sublime, and the playing superlative.
RnR Magazine (July 2018)
Up to this point in time, Great Britain’s Nick Hooper is best known for the scores he wrote for the Harry Potter films The Order of the Phoenix and The Half Blood Prince. In stark contrast to what you might expect from a solo album, 6 Strings presents Hooper playing all by himself on an acoustic guitar…presenting his interpretations of Irish folk tunes, plus a song by an English fiddler. A quick glance at his web site reveals that he also writes stories and novels. This album captures the man doing what he obviously loves doing…playing solo guitar. These recordings were captured at Abbey Road Studio 2, thus the sound quality is exceptionally warm and real.
A man in Nick’s position could easily release a grandiose album chock full of overproduced orchestral music…which is what most people might expect. But instead he chose to take a completely different approach, doing what he prefers to do rather than what others expect of him. The gamble pays off, as this disc is chock full of ultimately rewarding music that is inspired and slightly cerebral. Fourteen tracks here, all played with impeccable style. Our favorites include “The Lament of Owen Roe O’Neill,” “March of the King of Laois,” “Fanny Power,” and “The South Wind.”
babysue (June 2018)
This album contains traditional Irish music, played on an acoustic guitar by the famous guitarist Nick Hooper.
Keys and Chords (June 2018)
Your superb album arrived this morning. Just a few thoughts for what they are worth. You can take the finest guitar and Rob Armstrong makes wonderful sounding instruments. The finest recording studio and sound engineers in the world, but at the end of the day it is the player.
You sir are a fine player and I congratulate you on a lovely piece of work, recorded from the heart which is reflected in your sleeve notes.
Gordon Giltrap (May 2018)
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
DMME.net (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)
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.
DMME.net (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)
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)