Henry Vyner-Brooks - Giant Shoulders: If The Rocks Could Speak

Published Monday 28th April 2008
Henry Vyner-Brooks - Giant Shoulders: If The Rocks Could Speak
Henry Vyner-Brooks - Giant Shoulders: If The Rocks Could Speak

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 43506-12743
LABEL: Independent
RRP: £11.97

Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith

Something of an oddity this, but an intriguing and rewarding experience nonetheless. Songwriter, producer and mainstay of the Giant Shoulders band is Hugh Vyner-Brooks, a cancer survivor inspired during 2005-2007 to write the story of "a map to adulthood for young men and women" in the tale of another young man with the illness, Will Houston - On The Shoulders Of Giants. Simultaneously his musical juices got flowing and he quickly penned the songs here based on the themes and characters of the book, resulting in this CD as a promotional tool for the novel (or vice versa - it's a little hard to tell!). So, long story short, regardless of their literary links these songs stand up very well on their own, offered generally in a country rock vein due largely to the presence of British guitar legend Albert Lee. Name a rock'n'roll giant and the likelihood is Lee has played with them - Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Beatles, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, the list is almost endless. It would be easy for such a contributor to overshadow the rest of the proceedings, but Vyner-Brooks (not to mention the other top-notch musicians) has plenty of presence himself. His strong vocal performance is bolstered by scene-setting mini-interviews staged with the songwriter and, strangely, his "live" introductions to each obviously studio-anchored track. These fake concert moments (including canned crowd noise) are unconvincing and mostly redundant but, thankfully, just about the only disappointing element of 'If The Rocks Could Speak'. It's a well-produced, heartfelt, moving set with highlights being the powerful "Bullfighters And Mountain-Climbers" (great title) and a touching "I Will Wait For You" sung by Hugh alongside his wife Ruth. Definitely worth an hour or so of your time.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by Samantha Brooks in Kendal , Cumbria @ 22:39 on Nov 25 2008

A rich and embracing music that has strong country styel with a great tribute to Reggae beat on one track spanning to a track that sounds heavy enough to be from Meatloafs Bat out of Hell Collection. A great easy listening and vibrant mix. Well recommended with a strong christian weave.

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