Here is your latest selection of record reviews, courtesy of Kevin Bryan.
Eric Clapton - Live in San Diego (Reprise Records). This attractive showcase for the timeless talents of Eric Clapton was recorded in California in March 2007 and finds the great man joining forces with the late J.J.Cale on five tracks from the latter’s illustrious back catalogue, including After Midnight and Cocaine. The rest of the set list boasts the usual blend of blues standards and Clapton originals, with guitarists Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall providing the perfect sparring partners for the venerable axeman on gems from his Derek and the Dominos days such as Tell The Truth, Key To The Highway and Hendrix’s Little Wing.
Jim Lea - Therapy (Wienerworld). Therapy was the debut solo album from former Slade bassist Jim Lea, initially released in 2007 and coupled here with a fairly rough and ready live recording capturing the highlights of his gig at the Robin 2 venue in Bilston five years earlier. The studio offering showcases a generous helping of the melodic Beatles-influenced rock which became Slade’s trademark during their glory years in the early 70s, whilst the concert
package serves up an appealing assortment of golden oldies and covers, including loving revamps of such unlikely bedfellows as The Fab Four’s I Am the Walrus and the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant, to name but a few.
Seasick Steve - Keepin’ The Horse Between Me And The Ground (There’s A Dead Skunk Records). This prime practitioner of the finest American roots music has now unveiled his eighth studio album, a splendid two-CD package which divides equally between electric and acoustic performances. The latter tracks are particularly interesting, with Steve delivering his relatively mellow and understated renditions of a blend of freshly minted material and covers of fine songs
such as Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’, John Hartford’s Gentle On My Mind and Hank Williams’s I’m So Lonesome, the latter in an affecting vocal duet with Amy Lavere.
Marianne Faithfull - No Exit (Ear Music). The contents of this powerful audio-visual package were recorded at various venues during Marianne Faithfull’s 2014 European tour, including a DVD capturing her Budapest show in May of the same year. The veteran chanteuse attacks the cream of her never less than interesting back catalogue with a fractured rasp of a voice shaped by a lifetime of experiences both good and bad, injecting added passion and poignancy into
musical highlights such as As Tears Go By, The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan and the angrily compelling Mother Wolf.