06 April 2018 (released)
02 April 2018
Graham Robins has a remarkable voice. High and slightly tremulous but the emotion he manages to present is remarkable. You could describe him as a gospel singer but there is no specific religious connotation to his music.
I have heard bits and pieces from him over the years but this is the best set I’ve heard from him yet. There is a wide range of musical styles and he has assembled a great set of musicians to play with him but the first thing you hear is that wonderful voice and those lyrics that are impossible to ignore.
The album opens with harmonica and Hammond (Stuart Lynas) before his vocal pulls you in. A lilting and heartfelt number, ‘Hall Of Faith’, somehow perfect for Easter and the harmony vocals by Sallyanne Scarbrow just intensify the music into a quasi-religious experience.
As if he just wants to show another side of his music he follows up with ‘Three Foot Spoon’, classic rock & roll with sax (Paul Devonshire) and guitar (Chris Newman) “eating knickerbocker glory with a three foot spoon” – could only be an American diner. The song makes you want to dance, not just with the rhythm but with the sugar rush of the subject!
‘Nights In Coleraine’ has a wonderful sense of lost loves and teary-eyed partings. Love the sweet violin from Ellie Hill and the Hammond on the accordion setting.
He does an elegy to B.B. King, doing ‘Indianola Mississippi’ in the style of the master, his voice on the edge of breaking down and Chris Newman laying down some sterling guitar.
Robins is a remarkable singer, not easy or bland and well worth digging well into – this is one of those albums that really doesn’t have a weak song on it.