New Mu­sic

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High Wa­ter I Provogue

Crowes be­come Magpies in a mag­i­cally pow­er­ful mu­si­cal trans­for­ma­tion It’s amazing what a slight change in chem­istry will yield. The de­but al­bum from The Mag­pie Sa­lute fea­tures the tal­ents of no less than three of the orig­i­nal Black Crowes: gui­tarists Rich Robin­son and Marc Ford plus Sven Pip­ien on bass. New to the equa­tion are vo­cal­ist John Hogg, drum­mer Joe Mag­istro and keys man Matt Slocum. The re­sult is an al­bum that has the guts and en­ergy of the Crowes but a new so­phis­ti­ca­tion and breadth in both the writ­ing and the per­for­mances. It adds up to a tour de force de­but that doesn’t so much grab the lis­tener’s at­ten­tion but holds it in a life-af­firm­ing em­brace over the course of 12 well-crafted tracks. To say there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one here some­how does a dis­ser­vice to how seam­lessly clas­sic in­flu­ences have been wo­ven to­gether with a fresh, em­pow­ered vi­sion of mod­ern rock. Wit­ness For The Wind, a huge track that sling­shots the lis­tener from the open­ing lyri­cal acoustic re­frain straight into some of the gut­si­est riffage we’ve heard in a while – which has the force and swing of Zep­pelin’s Im­mi­grant Song. Else­where we find the light and shade that makes High Wa­ter I such a sat­is­fy­ing lis­ten. There’s hits-the-spot slide work and Stones-wor­thy boo­gie on Take It All but on clos­ing track Open Up we find a rich­ness and breadth of vi­sion in the writ­ing and har­mony vo­cals that plays like a lat­ter-day re­ply to CSN’s Wooden Ships. There’s even a touch of blue­grass-meets-Bolan on the free­wheel­ing Hand In Hand. It’s af­fect­ing stuff, beau­ti­fully pro­duced and per­formed with to-the-hilt com­mit­ment. It’s a real plea­sure when sea­soned play­ers find fresh con­vic­tion and marry their years of craft to a new well­spring of en­ergy. That’s def­i­nitely the case here and we urge you to give it a lis­ten. [JD] Stand­out track: Wit­ness For The Wind For fans of: Led Zep­pelin, Pearl Jam, Dy­lan

Roger Dal­trey As Long As I Have You Poly­dor

The voice of the ‘or­ri­ble ‘oo in solo mode How do you dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween a Roger Dal­trey solo al­bum and a Who re­lease? That voice is still there at cen­tre stage, but the choice of songs – from a cou­ple of self-penned out­ings to cov­ers like the rock­ier take on Ste­vie Won­der’s You Haven’t Done Noth­ing – ear­marks it as some­thing en­tirely dif­fer­ent. Who fans need not de­spair, though, as Pete Town­shend makes his pres­ence felt here with his six-string con­tri­bu­tion on seven of the al­bum’s 11 tracks. “This is a re­turn to the very be­gin­ning to the time be­fore Pete started writ­ing our songs,” Dal­trey says, ex­press­ing nos­tal­gia for the pre-Who cover band days and, from that point of view alone, the al­bum is a rag­ing suc­cess. [DM] Stand­out track: Get On Out Of The Rain For fans of: The Who, Joe Cocker

Paul Rodgers Free Spirit Quarto Val­ley Records

Cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of The Voice at the Royal Al­bert Hall The last night of a UK tour that marked half a cen­tury since he, Si­mon Kirke and the late Andy Fraser and Paul Kos­soff started Free in their teens, Paul Rodgers pays trib­ute in the finest way pos­si­ble. As well as the sin­ga­long favourites of Wish­ing Well and My Brother Jake the likes of Love

You So and Trav­elin’ In Style that were never per­formed by the band dur­ing their short life­span demon­strate that they were ev­ery bit as vi­tal to the much the lauded Bri­tish blues move­ment as the big names. Backed ably by Deb­o­rah Bon­ham’s gui­tarist Pe­ter Bul­lick who soars on the leads of Woman and Mr

Big, ev­ery­thing from the sway­ing cas­cade of Ride On A Pony to the joy­ous All Right Now fill the his­toric venue with the grand scale it de­serves. [AR] Stand­out track: All Right Now For fans of: Free, Bad Com­pany

Tre­monti A Dy­ing Ma­chine Na­palm Records

Al­ter Bridge gui­tarist in­dulges in a fourth out­ing of metal­lic mus­cle When not pack­ing out are­nas with Al­ter Bridge or putting his sig­na­ture over state-of-the-art guitars and gear, Mark Tre­monti has es­tab­lished a cred­i­ble solo ca­reer. While last ef­fort Dust had big an­thems and riffs that could have stolen the show for his day job, his fourth al­bum fo­cuses on his love for ra­zor-sharp metal to shape a fu­tur­is­tic Blade Run­neresque con­cept based around sen­tient ar­ti­fi­cial be­ings and co­ex­is­tence – with ac­com­pa­ny­ing novel ex­pected soon. Though there’s still room for a bal­lad in the power grab wor­thy The First The

Last this is a far cry from band­mate Myles Kennedy’s stripped down Year

Of The Tiger, with A Dy­ing Ma­chine an ac­com­plished ex­er­cise in pre­ci­sion riff­ing and fiendishly com­plex play­ing that’s wor­thy of both the leg­ends of the genre and in­deed the story’s me­chan­i­cal pro­tag­o­nists. The open­ing Bringer Of

War and Throw Them To The Lions see riffs gal­lop atop propul­sive drums, while Tre­monti’s un­der­stated vo­cals soar on the ti­tle track and Make It Hurt. An­other out­stand­ing ex­er­cise in per­for­mance and awe­some song­writ­ing from one of the world’s finest play­ers. [AR] Stand­out track: Throw Them To The Lions For fans of: Al­ter Bridge, Me­tal­lica

John Mellencamp Plain Spo­ken Uni­ver­sal

In­te­gral CD and DVD ex­pe­ri­ence from le­gendary per­former With a mu­sic ca­reer ex­ceed­ing 35 years and a mantle­piece bur­dened with the weight of too many awards to men­tion, this live CD and DVD pack­age sees an­other turn of the page for the le­gendary song­writer and per­former. Recorded at the Chicago Theatre in Oc­to­ber 2016 the pack­age in­cludes songs from Mellencamp’s lat­est stu­dio record­ing, Sad Clowns And Hillbillies as well as many favourites from his il­lus­tri­ous back cat­a­logue like Small Town, Pop

Singer and Cherry Bomb. It has to be said that the heart of the mat­ter is re­ally in the ac­com­pa­ny­ing DVD with an op­tional commentary from Mellencamp, of­fer­ing ad­di­tional in­sight into the man and his mu­sic. Fans will re­joice. [DM] Stand­out track: Stones In My Pass­way For fans of: Bob Dy­lan, Bruce Spring­steen

Bul­let For My Valen­tine Grav­ity Spine­farm

Welsh arena met­allers make dras­tic dive into the elec­tronic deep end While last al­bum Venom was a re­turn to the style that had seen them be­come Bri­tain’s big­gest metal ex­port since Iron Maiden af­ter the mis­step of Tem­per Tem­per, Bul­let For My Valen­tine have now taken an even more dras­tic U-turn on their sixth al­bum. Grav­ity sees the twin lead work of Matt Tuck and Paget largely aban­doned for the pol­ished elec­tronic pop sound that other metal lu­mi­nar­ies In Flames and Bring Me The Hori­zon have so heav­ily em­braced. Don’t Need You de­liv­ers some of the grit meets melodic nous that they’ve made their hall­mark while the down­tuned, con­vul­sive rhythms of Un­der Me is the most suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion of their new ideal. How­ever, while heavy mu­sic is re­liant on bands break­ing the rules to set new bound­aries for oth­ers to fol­low, the re­jec­tion of the chest-beat­ing, gui­tar hero wor­ship is so se­vere that you must ask whether this is brave ex­plo­ration or an­other fool­hardy blun­der. [AR] Stand­out track: Don’t Need You For fans of: Linkin Park, Bring Me The Hori­zon

Mark Tre­monti (cen­tre) gets me­chan­i­cal and moody on his lat­est ef­fort

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