Here are your latest record reviews with Kevin Bryan.
Malcolm Holcombe - Another Black Hole (Gypsy Eyes Music). Malcolm Holcombe’s distinctive approach to musicmaking has found him variously compared to everyone from Townes van Zandt to Tom Waits, and the North Carolina native’s 14th album represents an excellent addition to the impressive body of work that this gritty performer has assembled during the past three decades. Swamp rock legend Tony Joe White chips in on guitar on a couple of tracks but Holcombe is still very much the star of the show, delivering his compellingly grizzled Americana with honesty, perception and roughhewn charm.
Buddy Guy & Junior Wells and Muddy Waters - Drinkin’ TNT ‘N’ Smokin’ Dynamite + Messin’ With The Blues (Edsel Records). This splendid audiovisual package was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in June 1974. Guitar and blues harp duo Guy and Wells performed a commendably tight set aided and abetted by the likes of Bill Wyman and veteran piano player Pinetop Perkins before joining forces with the legendary Muddy Waters for a DVD featuring classic creations such as Hoochie Coochie Man, Mannish Boy and the grand finale, Got My Mojo Workin’, which had been a key element of the great man’s live act ever since he first
recorded it in 1956.
Sad Cafe - Access All Areas (Edsel Records). This hour-long TV showcase from the Rockstage series was captured for posterity by television in 1980, boasting a set list liberally peppered with choice extracts from Sad Cafe’s most successful album, Facades, including hit singles such as Strange Little Girl, Everyday Hurts and My Oh My. The melodic Mancunians are captured at their most polished and musicianly on Access All Areas, although this otherwise
excellent CD/DVD package does have a few issues with sound quality from time to time.
Vladimir Feltsman - J.S.Bach:French Suites (Nimbus Alliance). These elegant and charming keyboard works provide ideal vehicles for the consumate artistry of Vladimir Feltsman, the Moscow-born musician who has been hailed as one of the supreme Bach keyboard exponents of our time. Feltsman is certainly in fine fettle here as he breathes new life into a series of stylised dances which were originally penned as a wedding gift for his young and highly musical wife,
Anna Magdalena Bach.