Kevin Bryan reviews new music, compilations and re-released gems.
Claudia Brucken: Where else...
The music ex-Propaganda vocalist Claudia Brucken is making these days is certainly much more subdued and reflective than the epic synthpop creations which she became synonymous with during the inventive German outfit’s creative heyday three decades or so ago.
It’s a measure of Claudia’s current approach to music-making that this beguiling album should feature a cover of the late great Nick Drake’s Day is Done alongside haunting self-penned gems such as I Lay All Night, I Want You and the exquisitely crafted Walk Right In.
Dougie MacLean: Till Tomorrow
Highly regarded Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean makes his Linn Records debut by re-imagining the cream of his illustrious back catalogue in a fine collaboration with conductor John Logan and the massed ranks of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Their august presence lends an impressively symphonic dimension to Dougie’s settings of Burns’ poems such as Ca’ The Yowes and Green Grow The Rashes, and this hand-picked package closes with MacLean’s enduringly popular love song to Scotland, Caledonia.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers: 30th Anniversary Tour Live
This gritty audio-visual package from Delaware blues-rocker Thorogood and his like-minded musical cohorts was recorded at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall in May 2004.
The band’s visceral and refreshingly direct approach to their craft was captured in all its rabble-rousing glory as they delivered a selection of tracks from their then current album, Ride ‘Til I Die, alongside early signature hits such as Bad To The Bone, Move It On Over and John Lee Hooker’s One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer.
Various: Soul City New Orleans
This vibrant two-CD anthology showcases the work of some of the performers who populated New Orleans’ nascent soul scene half a century ago, including much-loved artists such as Ernie K-Doe, Huey Smith and the Clowns and former car mechanic Lee Dorsey of Working in the Coal Mine and Holy Cow fame.
Compiler Clive Richardson has delved into the archives of some of the Crescent City’s most influential record labels to paint a vivid portrait of musical life in this unique cultural melting pot during the early 1960s, and the finished product should be an essential purchase for soul fans everywhere.
Chuck Prophet: Night Surfer
Roots rocker extraordinaire Chuck Prophet first entered the public consciousness via his exploits with the tunefully psychedelic Green On Red during the second half of the 1980s before embarking on a solo career in 1990.
The Californian singer and guitarist has now completed a grand total of 13 studio albums and Night Surfer must rank as one of his most compelling offerings to date.
Rock luminaries such as Peter Buck lend a hand as Chuck unveils the memorably muscular Ford Econoline and Tell Me Anything and a colourful parade of his impeccable musical influences entitled Countrified Inner City Technological Man.