13 May 2022 (released)
Derek Holt and Richard Jones are founder members of the Climax Blues Band and their musical history goes back to 1968 but it has to be said that this album has far more to do with their musical experience than it does a Blues/Rock band.
The album opens with a deeply atmospheric number ‘Waiting For Payday’, full of jazzy horns and a samba rhythm, conjuring dark streets and dimly lit back alley bars as they bemoan the lack of cash until payday/playday. Musically as far from the Blues as you can get but subject matter is right on the marks, especially in 2022.
The atmospheric feel continues through the album with soft, melodic vocals and suitably soft backing. The songs range through the aforementioned ‘Waiting For Payday’ through ‘Time’s Not On Our Side’ which takes a look at climate change and the damage we are doing to our home, on to ‘Shadowman’ which was originally written for Climax Blues Band but never used – very dark and nightmarish and with a brilliantly sleazy saxophone in the back. The album closer is a delightful love song that have a vocal that is reminiscent of Paul McCartney and a lovely accordion backing that builds into a full on Beatles-style crescendo.
All of the songs have their own identity and you really can see/hear the time that these songs have been gestating but it does mean that a few – such as ‘Playing For Love’ – are a little dated but still not bad for that.
Influences abound and there are echoes of the Beatles, Hollies and even Crosby Stills & Nash but in today’s world they have a very individual voice – very definitely making their own statement.
Unusually, the music is good enough that you could put it on as background music but actually listening reveals a wealth of musical ability and 10 songs written by Holt & Jones that are individual, thought-provoking and could only have been made by artists who have been around and done it all.
Very good and well worth a tickle.