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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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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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MATTHEW FISHER Matthew Fisher/Strange Days


While “Running From Your Love” and “Why’d I Have To Fall In Love With You?” marry deep drama to the strings-drenched easy listening, “Miss Suzie” is playful in a Big Pink way, whereas “Looking For Shelter” knocks on Dylan’s door with panache and female choir to stress its humorous preaching. On a serious note, “Just How Blind” and “Back In Your Arms Again” are honeyed ballads using Bach for a background, but “Give It A Try” – whose sarcasm rides irresistible riffs and catchy chorus – could have found a faithful following had it been taken to the dancefloor, with Tim Renwick’s licks for a glitterball.

Moving on with the times, “Something I Should Have Known” has synthesizers and vocal effects outlining emotional alienation, leaving it to piano to warm the sax-spiced “Living In A Dream” and to drums to propel “Only Yourself To Blame” towards sweet pity. As a result, the joyous “Desperate Measures” would create external contrast and internal paradox, demonstrating Fisher’s multi-instrumental talents en route to paradise of “Can’t Stop Loving You Now” and “She Makes Me Feel” which might signal Matthew’s comeback to erstwhile classicism. It might…if only he didn’t abandon music and become a computer programmer.

It would take him another decade and a new stint with his old band to deliver “A Salty Dog Returns” that is possibly the veteran’s last-ever offering, because, again, solo career has never been Matthew Fisher’s priority, yet his records didn’t lose an iota of their delight. ****1/4 (May 2018)

The self-titled album from 1980 is a superb album, full of heartfelt ballads. ‘Anna’, for example, combines the slightly folksy singer-songwriter image with big, bold, and slightly epic arrangements that give you the ‘small man on a big stage’ feel that would, for example, be so successful for the likes of Andrew Gold. In fact, you could draw comparisons between the two here.

Strange Days (1981) offers more power pop sensibilities with a lush production – and lots of double tracked vocals combined with the more new wave music fashion of the period. A higher energy suite of songs, in fact. This album doesn’t quite have the dramatic focus of the earlier album but there is still much to like here with a suite of light and airy songs presented with lots of energy. In mastering terms, there is a touch of compression residing within the mids but the effect is quite subtle so that the effect is used more to emphasise detail than to intrude upon the whole soundstage.

Hi-Fi World (April 2018)

Twofer featuring solo albums Matthew Fisher originally recorded and released in the 1970s. Although still mainly known as one of the founding members of the iconic band Procol Harum, this release will hopefully open up people’s eyes and ears to Fisher’s entire career. After leaving Procol Harum, Matthew opened a very successful recording studio (Old Barn Recorders) where he worked with many notable artists. This disc presents all the tracks from Fisher’s first two solo albums…Fisher was obviously ahead of his time in terms of songwriting and studio know how. Although his self-titled debut was not hugely successful, it did spawn two singles (“Why’d I Have To Fall In Love With You” and “Can’t You Feel My Love”). Strange Days veered off the path of straightforward pop in favor of a more stripped down sound. Two songs were co-written by The Zombies’ Chris White (who also acted as co-producer on both albums). This reissue will no doubt open the doors for a whole slew of new fans and listeners to experience Matthew’s music. In a world of throwaway pop, these tracks stand out because they’ve stood the test of time…and because they have substance.

babysue (March 2018)

Matthew FISHER begins the eighties with an eponymous album that had great success in Greece thanks to the title track “Why’d I Have To Fall In Love With You”, considered a classic. He is joined by Dave MATTACKS on drums, a member of FAIRPORT CONVENTION and session man having participated in Gary BROOKER’s albums…Tim RENWICK on the guitar, who worked with Al STEWART, THE SUTHERLAND BROTHERS and accompanied PINK FLOYD in 1987 and 1994 as well as during the ephemeral reformation in 2005 for Live8. Mick GRABHAM on rhythm guitar, ex COCHISE and PROCOL HARUM…”Can’t You Feel My Love” is the initial piece of the 1980 album and has a superb nostalgic melody, quite far from PROCOL HARUM…

On STRANGE DAYS he surrounded himself with Tim RENWICK on guitar, Peter VAN HOOKE on drums, Ron ASPREY on saxophone, ex BACK DOOR, and Alan JONES on the bass, ex SHADOWS. It starts with “Something I Should Have Known”, it has a sound close to ULTRAVOX or Gary NUMAN, rather surprising from the ex PROCOL HARUM member. The sound of synthesizers dominate, the song is perfect, having a very emotional romanticism. The album continues in a more pop vein similar to SUPERTRAMP on “Without You”, with a very beautiful vocal performance.

Highlands Magazine (Translated – March 2018)

Anyone expecting the gentle prog of Fisher’s ex-band will initially, most likely, be a little confused by the grown up pop presented on the earlier of these two releases, a slick smooth sound revealed that wouldn’t be out of place in a laid back Eagles setting, or even at the less cheerful end of Paul McCartney’s solo output. It’s classy stuff that reminds just how strong Fisher’s often overlooked vocals are and the overall standard remains high throughout. Opener “Can’t You Feel My Love” may be an overly unassuming introduction, but it is a still a cleverly paced and well constructed piece that happily sits on a reserved groove. Things pick up with “Give It A Try”; a more insistent and forceful slice of organ induced pop that, while of its time, possesses more than enough of a classy 70s sheen to have more depth and believability. It also sets the tone for the rest of the album, the strong mix of accessibility and intricately structured melodies carrying “Only A Game” and “Running From Your Love” deep into the memory…

The biggest shock that arrives when track eleven on this disc kicks in – track one of the Strange Days album – is the short period of time between it and its predecessor. From the smooth, yet crafted 70s pop and rock of the previous album, the leap into austere 80s inspired electro shimmers of “Something I Should Know” suggest the passing of decades, rather than mere months…”Living In A Dream” thriving on simple pop hooks and trilling saxophone, while “Desperate Measures” repeats the process in a rockier and harder hitting setting…Strange Days is more a mixed bag than a failure and there’s more than enough to keep you sticking with it. However there’s no doubt that it’s the first ten tracks on this disc from the Matthew Fisher album that will continue to draw you back for more.

Sea Of Tranquility (February 2018)

Having released two solo albums in the ’70s while running his own in demand recording studio, in 1980 he recorded the ‘Matthew Fisher’ album, then in 1981 ‘Strange Days’. Both albums are now available on this budget priced CD.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (January 2018)

This shadowy figure is best remembered these days for his invaluable contribution on Hammond organ to Procol Harum’s ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale,’ and the fact that it took several decades of serious litigation before he was finally granted a co-writing credit to this classic 1967 hit in 2009. Fisher’s solo career continued on a fairly intermittent basis in the interim, and Angel Air’s latest CD re-issue focuses attention on two of his unjustly overlooked offerings from the early eighties. The results veer much closer to mainstream pop than the classically inspired prog-rock of his Procol Harum days, with “Anna” and “Why’d I Have To Fall In Love” emerging as the best of a strangely affecting bunch.

Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (January 2018)

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On this reworked album he is accompanied by a wonderful singer Carol Lee SAMPSON, she’s not very well known but has a very warm voice…A friend of Gordon, Martin GREEN is the author of the lyrics, also playing guitar. It’s a lot about spirituality. This is all the more interesting as often Gordon GILTRAP’s albums are rather instrumental. Acoustic guitars are commonly in the spotlight even if on “Praise Him” we are treated to the support of discrete keyboards…

Despite the theme, we are far from church music…”The Lord Is My Strength” is more folkloric, more cheerful and accompanied by a wonderful violin and some keyboards. “Echoes Of Heaven” is led by a narrative accompanied by an acoustic guitar…The stunning “Peace Will Fall” is sung beautifully by Carol and concludes the album. A soothing album, recommended.

Highlands Magazine (Translated – March 2018)

It’s the electricity-stricken “Echoes Of Heaven” – formerly known as “Sallie’s Song” – and “Elegy” in the guise of “Walk Beside Me” that become the inspired pinnacle of Giltrap’s method applied to “Peace Will Fall” to render delicate what was simply gentle before. Introverted, if never preaching, this is a triumphal attempt to speak to heaven. (March 2018)

…it is unlikely that a new listener would realise that these tunes had a previous life bereft of words. Sampson’s voice is soothing and suits the mood well. She is possessed of a rich vibrato that she uses to very good effect…Giltrap’s intricate fingerpicking is, as always, impeccable and provides a perfect foil for the mellow mood…for those of a spiritual bent it provides a fascinating new addition to his discography.

RnR Magazine (March 2018)

Never quite a rock, prog, or folk guitarist, Giltrap’s pastoral style sits perfectly in this domain, his personal approach illustrated wonderfully on “First Light”, as it compliments the passionate but restrained vocals from Sampson. In many ways it’s the voice that makes the strongest impression here, Giltrap, a musician most often known an as instrumentalist, allowing the lady behind the mic more than enough room to shine, while never simply blending into the background. It’s a trait revealed time and again, the busy guitar work on “Love Wins” never intruding into the vocal space, always leaving the over all impression as bright and breezy, while side stepping any notion of quaintness.

…if you hold beautiful acoustic guitar playing close to your heart, then there’s little doubt that what Gordon Giltrap specialises in should appeal to you on every level. With wonderful vocals and heartfelt lyrics also feeling right at home in those same surrounds, this may not be an album you’ll reach for often, but it’s sure to delight when you do.

Sea Of Tranquility (February 2018)

Last year’s ‘The Last of England’ was a triumph and reinstated Giltrap’s ascendancy in the world of acoustic guitar. ‘Peace Will Fall’ – originally released in 2012 as ‘Echoes Of Heaven’ – is sufficiently different with Giltrap’s fretwork flourishes enhanced by Carol Lee Sampson’s vocals. Her warm style is not dissimilar to Magenta’s Tina Booth.

This is an interesting departure for Giltrap as mostly his albums are instrumental but punters should be aware that, as is often the case, older songs are re-worked and given a new twist.

So, for example, ‘Praise Him’ is actually ‘Roots’ whilst ‘Under A Blue Sky’ and ‘The Lord’s Seat’ will also be familiar tunes found elsewhere. ‘Sallie’s Song’ reappears as ‘Echoes Of Heaven’ with a narrated lyric, ‘Elegy’ becomes’ Walk Beside Me’.

The overall spiritual nature of this album is reinforced by the presence of co-writer Rev Martin Green (yes, a real clergyman!) and the ambience…It seems that Giltrap is making up for a little lost time (and ill-health) reviving projects that germinated some years ago. With ‘The Last Of England’ he took up with a guy he’d first encountered at a car boot sale in the 1980s whilst this latest collaboration originated in a pub in Kenilworth in 2009.

For fans of Giltrap’s work ‘Peace Will Fall’ is a handsome addition. And, no, we are spared a vocal version of ‘Heartsong’. 4/5 stars

Get Ready to ROCK! (January 2018)

Although not overtly religious himself, Giltrap states that he believes that “all music that touches us is of a spiritual nature”, and there are strong religious overtones on display here. While not as cloying as some of Neal Morse’s messages, this may be enough to deter some. That said, this writer is someone who doesn’t enjoy being preached to in music, but largely found much pleasant listening on offer here. This is largely due to Giltrap’s ever wonderful guitar tone, a lush sound that weaves its magic from folk to prog across the material. Interestingly the religious aspect of the original cover has been dispensed with in favour of the more obvious Giltrap logo, but the spoken Biblical passages on the like of The Lord’s Seat still grate. But not enough to distract from the overall enjoyment.

Team Rock (January 2018)

Over the past 45 years Gordon Giltrap has graced the music scene with his sublime guitar skills…this is the first time it has been with a singer and a songwriter (Carol Lee Sampson and Martin Green). “Peace Will Fall” blends beautifully Gordon’s guitar playing and Carol’s voice. Top tracks include “Christmas Carol”, “Mary”, “First Light”, “The Lord Is My Strength”, “Walk Beside Me”, and the title track “Peace Will Fall”.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (December 2017)

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BILLIE JO SPEARS We Just Came Apart At The Dreams


Billie began touring in the UK regularly from the early ’70s onwards and in London on 1982 she recorded many of the tracks on this album, the remainder being completed in Nashville. The album was released the following year on vinyl only and this is the first time it’s been released on CD.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (April 2018)

Of course, there’s blustery bluegrass in “Baby On My Mind” yet there’s also rockabilly in it, and Spears’ allegiance to country is limited to the choice of covers here, because “Can’t Change My Heart” and “Ain’t No Money” which bookend the album are transformed into contemporary pop, these catchy pieces disco groove stressing the strength and the gloss of Billie Jo’s vocals. She easily makes “Blowing Away” her own without ever casting a glance at Linda Ronstadt or Bonnie Raitt’s versions of the perennial, while the tender title track has seen a slew of performers following in BJ’s wake, So pedal steel may wail in “Love Dies Hard” where the chanteuse’s inspired delivery is full of hope, but the same instruments in Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can’t Tell” help Spears display her smile and style in the most charming manner.

If BJ’s punchy take on “Settin’ Me Up” validates Mark Knopfler’s prairie approach to writing, “Too Far Gone” finds her tap into Southern sort of strings-drenched sadness, and “Sweet Dreams” is perfect alloy of Spears’ traditional leanings and the period production. Short and to the point, this record is ripe for rediscovery because, 30-odd years since its release, the album is still fresh and fragrant. 4½ / 5 Stars (April 2018)

This release will be of genuine interest to Billie Jo Spears fans because…this marks the first time these tracks have ever been released on CD. Recorded in 1982 in London and Nashville, We Just Came Apart at the Dreams was originally released on vinyl in 1983. By this time, Spears was experiencing a good deal of success in England. The tracks on this album present a more middle-of-the-road sound and style. It features covers of songs written by a number of well-known artists including Rodney Crowell, Don Gibson, Chuck Berry, Mark Knopfler, and Jim Weatherly & Bucky Jones. Sadly, after a long and lengthy career, Billie passed away in 2011. This reissue will help to keep Spears’ songs and spirit alive for decades to come. Spirited upbeat cuts include “Can’t Change My Heart,” “Baby On My Mind,” “We Just Came Apart at the Dreams,” and “Ain’t No Money.”

babysue (March 2018)

…up tempo selections include a charming countrified revival of ‘You Never Can Tell’ – Chuck Berry at his most wordy, which like that of The Cate Brothers’ soul-inflected ‘Can’t Change My Heart’, nestles comfortably enough among unhurried heartbreak ballads like ‘Love Dies Hard’, the title song and, perhaps Elvis Costello’s contemporaneous overhaul as a useful demo, Billy Sherrill’s ‘Too Far Gone’.

RnR Magazine (March 2018)

Recorded in London (but completed in Nashville) in 1982, ‘We Just Came Apart At The Dreams’ saw but a fleeting vinyl lifetime some thirty-five years ago. This, then, is its first appearance since then, and it’s difficult to see why it has remained obscure for so long. Particularly as Billie Joe was still scoring hits as recently as two years before, and would do so again a couple of years later.

Ah, we’ll get to that in a moment.

It’s a terrific album. The Spears voice is as alluring, powerful and expressive as it ever was, and her choice of material is faultless, too. It’s great hearing BJS tear through Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” and a brilliantly revved up version of Don Gibson’s “Sweet Dreams” – in and out in under two minutes. Rodney Crowell and Mark Knopfler show up in the writing credits too, with the latter’s “Settin’ Me Up” an opportunity for Spears and band to really kick some cans around.

But circumstance was less conducive than it might have been. Spears both recorded the album in London and in part relied on local talent for accompaniment. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and in many ways the disconnect from the US country scene is one reason why We Just Came Apart…sounds so fresh today.

Unfortunately, it also ensured that America wasn’t interested, while a more-minor-than-most UK record label (Premier) just doesn’t appear to have been equipped to give the album the attention it deserved. It vanished, Spears returned to her American career, and three and a half decades later, even fans will probably be hearing this for the first time. Tell them it was worth the wait.

Goldmine Magazine (January 2018)

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November 25th – Tavistock, The Wharf

November 28th – Peaky Blinders, Paignton

December 1st – Danfest (at The Musician in Leicester) with Martin Solomon and friends from Red Jasper

Click here to order your copy of “Kernowcopia”

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DATA 2-Time


…now, once again, the music has been made available for all to hear…thanks to the folks at Great Britain’s Angel Air label. With the continued interest in early electronic pop music, Data just might be a band that’s ripe for a resurgence.

babysue (January 2018)

If the band’s debut was a trade-off of catchiness against electronica, so 2-Time again tried to marry the two not always ready bedfellows. Even with both Kajanus and Frankie combining on vocals, the reduced role of Phil proves a key difference as Data’s sound evolved, the brightness of before cashed in for a more stark, serious attack that verges into austere. In many ways it makes this second outing feel much more grown up, especially when combined with less dazzling and bright synth sounds.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2017)

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DATA Opera Electronica


…repetitive patterns rarely produce a groove but they perfectly convey the period’s stifling atmosphere, its madness captured in the well-concealed rock ‘n’ roll of “Cuckooland” whose deadpan vocal theatrics and electronica-stricken beats point to the ultimate blackness…In this context, “I Want To Know” sounds more like demand rather than inquiry, and the belligerent, if flat, “Fallout” would be the only possible answer to such a statement – lightened by a lucid, lysergic even, middle section that leads into “Fever Of Love” where a swirl is truly infectious. It can serve as an entrance to the DATA world – unwelcoming and arresting at the same time. (February 2018)

Many of these tracks sound like they could easily be twenty-first century hits. The persistent beats and instantly catchy vocal melodies should appeal to a wide range of listeners. The music has been compared to Abba and Giorgio Moroder, both of whom should give you a good idea of what this music sounds like…Strange how current and relevant these songs sound in 2018 (!).

babysue (January 2018)

The sound of DATA exudes joy and liveliness (sometimes even hyperkinetic) more than the then current sterile new wave. Daring, headstrong and perhaps even too accessible because of a hidden urge to score that one big hit. Although, the theatrical ‘Life On Video’ and the nice ‘Armageddon’ enforces respect. The film industry also liked it and used the title track for the movie ‘Towers Of Babel’.

Keys and Chords (Translated – November 2017)

…with “Armageddon” a prime example of how to deal with tough issues in a cleverly flippant style and the opera based title track illustrating just how daring Data were attempting to be, there’s still a lot to admire. The latter blending styles in a way that maybe isn’t so readily illustrated elsewhere…For fans of Kajanus’s wide and hugely varied catalogue, this reissue will be most welcome, while for followers of burgeoning electronica, there will also be rewards aplenty.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2017)

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