Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

First published in NewsXtra

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Chicken Shack, " 100 Ton Chicken" (Talking Elephant TECD202)- Stan Webb's Chicken Shack were one of the leading lights of the British blues boom during the late sixties and "100 Ton Chicken" was the group's third album,recorded shortly after Christine Perfect had left the fold to pursue a solo career in 1969. Perfect would go on to achieve worldwide fame with Fleetwood Mac but her former colleagues were much less successful in their attempts to fashion  a heavier and more commercial sound in the aftermath of her departure ,although "Tears in the Wind" did supply them with a minor hit and they also turned in  highly competent covers of tunes such as   Clarence Carter's "Weekend Love" and Davy Graham's "Anji."

 

                      Robin Trower, "Roots and Branches" (Manhaton HATMAN 2030)- The former Procol Harum guitarist has slowly but surely slipped out of the public eye since recording a string of highly atmospheric albums  for Chrysalis Records during the mid-seventies but his passion for music-making remains undimmed, and his latest  Manhaton  CD features  re-vamps of some of the classic blues and  r&b creations which inspired  this  gifted performer   during his formative years."Hound Dog," "Little Red Rooster" and "The Thrill Is Gone" are all given an airing in the process,and Trower's distinctive  guitar work is thankfully still  just as fluid,intense and inventive as ever.


                      "Maurice Ravel: Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Sonata for Violin and Violoncello" (Haenssler CD 98.002)- This fine new CD  provides an absorbing  vehicle for the combined talents of violinist Lena Neudauer and  pianist Paul Rivinius   as they showcase some of the eclectic French composer's  most  impressive  chamber music creations.  The undoubted highlight of the package is the  dazzling "Tzigane,"  and the duo also join forces with cellist Julian Steckel for another of Ravel's most influential compositions, 1922's  lean and economical "Sonata for Violin and Violoncello."


                      "Cadillac Cuties and Hot Rod Heroes" (Fantastic Voyage FVDD 147)- The gas guzzling automobile became one of the most  potent symbols  of personal freedom in fifties America, and the burgeoning music business wasn't slow to capitalise on the fact, with seemingly every songwriter in the land penning their paeans of praise to the delights of a  life on the open road. This new 2 CD anthology brings together fifty of the era's most engaging  car related anthems , including   Bo Diddley's "Road Runner," Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me" and Jackie Brenston's classic "Rocket 88."


                       The Getaway Plan,"Requiem"(Warner Music/UNFD)- Alternative Aussie rockers The Getaway Plan have returned to the fray after a self-imposed  two year hiatus with a new album which represents a marked  progression from their well received debut set,"Other Voices,Other Rooms." The band have obviously made a conscious attempt to marry their natural flair for experimentation with a  much more radio friendly approach to songwriting, with  tracks such as  "Flying Colours,"  "Move Along" and "The Reckoning"  capturing their drama laden sound at its most immediate and compelling.

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