STYLE: Blues RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 170730- LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Georgia-born and UK-based troubadour Brooks has had a prolific spell of late and his new album is the latest to spring up from a particularly purple patch of quality albums. Recorded more or less live at Glasgow's Kyoti Studio with each player in very close physical proximity to the other, there is a delightfully boxy and intimate feel to proceedings and a small combo of bass and drums back the main man's fine resonator playing with deceptive ease. Employing much-loved Fife singer/songwriter Rab Noakes on harmonies is a stroke of genius and adds an extra dimension to Williams' breezily sung lines - delivered as if he has a permanent smile on his face - and songs like the opener "Bright Side Of The Blues" and a cover of Walter Hyatt's "Going To New Orleans" are a joy to be behold. Whilst his default setting is cheerful and upbeat, it would be wrong to suggest that Williams shies away from the moodier aspect of the blues and the slow-burning "Here Comes The Blues" and the brutally honest "No Easy Way Back" showcase a no-nonsense side to his work alongside the more carefree fare found on the remainder of the album. Elsewhere, the supremely memorable "Gambling Man" - sounding for all the world like it could have been co-written with his namesake Hank - and a great version of Thomas Dorsey's gospel number "Rock Me" with a cameo from Paul Jones on harmonica add further quality to an already top class release whilst alternate versions of both tracks are offered up as a bonus with the help of recent tour mate Hans Theessink.
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