Kevin Bryan reviews new music, compilations and re-released gems.
Paul Brady: The Vicar St Sessions, Vol 1
Highly-regarded Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady has been regaling audiences with his distinctive brand of music-making for more than four decades, and in 2001 the unpredictable balladeer decided to celebrate the delights of his illustrious back catalogue by embarking on a mammoth run of 23 gigs at Dublin’s legendary Vicar Street venue.
Recordings of this unique event are now being made available by Proper Records in a series of compelling live CDs featuring many of the musical friends that Brady has made over the years, with the first volume featuring contributions by everyone from Mark Knopfler and Van Morrison to the perennially soulful Bonnie Raiit and Boyzone heartthrob Ronan Keating.
Todd Rundgren: Global
This musical visionary has never been particularly easy to pigeonhole as a performer, and the Philadelphian multi-instrumentalist’s 25th solo studio album serves up a typically surprising blend of rock, soul and electronica for your listening pleasure.
It’s not the most subtle offering that Rundgren has ever unleashed on his discerning devotees but as an exercise in rather superior synth-based dance music it fulfils its function more than adequately, with Evrybody, Blind and Terra Firma emerging as the best of the bunch.
Laurence Jones: What’s It Gonna Be
This talented young singer and guitarist from Stratford-upon-Avon has been widely hailed as the saviour of the British blues scene, and although that might be a slight exaggeration his latest Ruf CD certainly demonstrates he’s an electric bluesman of rare passion and power.
Their intensive touring schedule during the past few years has clearly moulded Jones and his two musical cohorts into a tight and cohesive performing unit, and this surprisingly mature character is in particularly fine fettle on stand-out tracks such as Touch Your Moonlight, Evil and All I Need.
Eddie & the Hot Rods: Stage & Studio
This enjoyable audio-visual package from Barrie Masters and company couples a selection of live and studio recordings with a euphoric DVD capturing The Hot Rods’ 30th anniversary show at London’s Astoria in August 2005.
Many of their best known creations are give an airing in the process, including energised versions of old favourites from their golden era in the late 1970s such as Quit This Town, Teenage Depression and their anthemic 1977 hit, Do Anything You Wanna Do.