Ricky Warwick – When Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues) / Hearts On Trees (Nuclear Blast Records)
Ricky Warwick (and co-writer, Sam Robinson) is a storyteller who doesn’t simply “tell a story” but rather lifts your spirits and entertains, especially the first part of the release which is filled with dance-worthy tunes. Warwick claims that this release “depicts [their] experiences of growing up and coming from the Greater East Belfast area” with a focus on “historical references and stories that have been told [to them]”. Indeed, the historical references are evident in songs such as “The Road to Damascus Street” but also in the general feeling and atmosphere of the two records which have an overall Celtic/Irish atmosphere. The second part is best served with a beer, whiskey or whatever your choice of poison may be; it’s acoustic (or unplugged if you prefer) but very powerful. If you like Black Star Riders or Thin Lizzy or just good rock in general, then this is a great (double) release to add to your collection.
Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts are currently touring the UK with Stiff Little Fingers. Check out our interview with Ricky here.
Supersonic Blues Machine – West of Flushing, South of Frisco (Provogue/Mascot Label Group)
It is not only the wide array of guests and collaborators – such as Warren Haynes, Walter Trout, Billy F. Gibbons – which make this group and album “supersonic”, but rather the music which is a product of those collaborations. West of Flushing, South of Frisco is supposed to be a “reminder of an era that embraced collaborations, one that shared a vision and shared moments”. It indeed does that and is more than the average “tribute” album; it rocks, it is melancholic and touching and does everything a blues record should do. The vocals especially stand out. The crispy vocals of Lance Lopez are one of the main highlights for me. What makes the difference, however, is that this album really feels like a celebration of music, which is always there for us in both good and bad times. It’s a groovy album and it feels so damn good listening to it.