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Album review

Clem Clempson 

In the Public Interest

added: 18 Jan 2014 // release date: 1 Dec 2014 // label: Repertoire
reviewer: Andy Snipper

Clem Clempson - In the Public Interest - Printable version
Considering Clem Clempson’s history – Humble Pie, Colosseum, countless sessions with artists including Jack Bruce, Billy Cobham and Dave Sancious, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Bob Dylan, Chris de Burgh and Jon Anderson, I was amazed to find that this is his debut solo album. It is also a hell of a lot more satisfying than I expected too.

No-one would every question Clempson’s playing – he is the goto for many, many artists - He is not known as either a songwriter or a vocalist but here he is, writing some fine Blues and displaying a voice that is the equal of many and far superior to some name singers – colour me impressed.

What you basically have here is a bund of relatively standard Blues numbers, in a variety of styles, and played with real passion and a great sense of understanding the music.
On a track like ‘Waiting for the Day’ where his guitar is underpinned by a rolling Hammond – courtesy of Ronnie Leahy – and delivered with his passionate vocals on a Blues ballad that kicks like a mule.
That leads into the funky and moody ‘Leopold’s Great Escape’ showing the versatility and variety of the music on the album.
The great Maggie Bell takes lead vocals on ‘Route 69’ turning a good track into a terrific one and his version of the classic ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ he brings a fresh touch to the Ray Charles original with his conversation with Bell. Humble Pie also covered this back in the day but he has stayed clear of the Steve Marriot approach and turned it back into a soul number.

There was a touch of trepidation when I first approached this album but he has turned out a bit of a gem.


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4 stars

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