It’s time for Kevin Bryan’s latest Record Review feature.
Glenn Frey - Above The Clouds (Geffen/USM). This wide-ranging retrospective blends the cream of Glenn Frey’s solo output with the complete contents of the deliciously obscure 1969 album that he recorded with fellow Detroit native J.D.Souther, Longbranch Pennywhistle. Eagles co-founder Frey enjoyed a lengthy run of solo success after the band’s initial break-up in 1980 and hits such as The Heat Is On and Smuggler’s Blues are given an airing here alongside classy covers of everything from The Beach Boys’ Caroline No to a few gems from the Great American Songbook including For Sentimental Reasons and The Shadow Of Your Smile.
Jack The Lad, It’s... /The Old Straight Track (Talking Elephant). These splendid CD re-issues shine a welcome spotlight on the first two albums from Jack the Lad, the appealingly rustic outfit which emerged from the ashes of the original Lindisfarne in 1973. Bassist Rod Clements departure after the release of It’s Jack The Lad, prompted the band to pursue a more consciously folk orientated direction for the follow-up, The Old Straight Track, which found former Hedgehog Pie members Ian Fairbairn and Phil Murray slotting neatly into their line-up as they breathed new life into traditional ditties such as Jolly Beggar, Buy Broom Buzzems and Peggy (Overseas With A Soldier).
Victor Wainwright and the Train(Ruf Records). Georgia-born Wainwright has tended to be pigeonholed as a boogie-woogie pianist in the past, but this larger than life character has a much more eclectic
approach to music-making than that, and his first album with new band The Train explores the delights of American roots music in all its depth and diversity. Whether tackling the rumbustious charms of Boogie Depression or the horn led Wiltshire Grave, Wainwright’s life-enhancing sound provides the perfect antidote to the corporate sterility peddled by many of his contemporaries these days, and the proceedings draw to a close with the majestic, gospel-tinged, That’s Love To Me.
3- Live-Rockin’ The Ritz (Wienerworld). This rare live recording found former ELP stalwarts Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer joining forces with bassist Robert Berry for a powerful prog-rock show from their new band 3 which was originally broadcast on a New York FM radio station in 1988. Their wide-ranging set list blended newly penned 3 material with memorable moments from Emerson’s musical past such as America, Hoedown and Fanfare For The Common Man, pausing along the way to include unexpected covers of such unlikely bedfellows as The Byrds’ Eight Miles High and the Four Tops’ 1966 hit, Standing in the Shadows of Love.