John Stamp - Franklin 54

Published Thursday 8th February 2018
John Stamp - Franklin 54
John Stamp - Franklin 54

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168045-26360
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by John Cheek

John Stamp was once a significant part of the UK Christian music scene and in the early '90s gigged full-time with evangelist Gary Gibbs, recorded an album with his band The Name and did a UK tour with Larry Norman. But then he took a u-turn and entered the world of music therapy. Intriguingly, in 2017 he found time to record this album of his own songs with a bevy of top American session musicians. A single "Blowing Kisses" was released last year, an engaging duet with Leigh Nash (of Sixpence None The Richer). The track is like much of the album: laid-back, Americana-tinged music with almost a west coast rock feel to it. Another standout is "Hippy Days", which has now made it to the Cross Rhythms playlist and which has a dash of The Eagles about it plus the memorable couplet "Lose your shirt/It won't hurt". "Knocking", with some good wah-wah guitar, reminds us of Ray Davies or Jimmy Nail and with the refrain "Knock, knock. . ." seems to be suggestive of knocking on Heaven's door. No, it turns out to be just another reflection on romantic angst. Better is the more-contemplative, stripped-back "Moon And Stars" - good, gutsy stuff a bit like an English Mike Weaver, of Big Daddy Weave - while an outstanding lyric can be heard on "Words" - a warning about the damage which words can cause in the lives of others. It sees the culmination of John's professional, spiritual and musical expertise coming together in what could be one of the finest tracks of 2018. "Every woman and every man/Use silence when you can." A triumph of sensitive words and quality musicianship.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Stay Calm [Listen]
2. Hippy Days [Listen]
3. Moon And Stars [Listen]
4. Blowing Me Kisses [Listen]
5. The Weather [Listen]
6. Do You Dream [Listen]
7. Knocking [Listen]
8. Words [Listen]
9. California [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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