Recently, my friend TG told me he was off to a gig in Suffolk. This was singer / song-writer Keith Sadler And Friends, who were promoting their album Savour Life released last year. I told him I’d be interested in hearing their music; so when I next saw him, he handed me a CD copy of the album that Keith himself had given him for me to review.
Its a collection of twelve songs of mostly Keith’s compositions; but with a couple of covers. It was recorded live at The John Peel Centre in their hometown of Stowmarket. According to his Facebook description; Keith ‘…specialises in simple, yet profound songs, often with spiritual and emotional themes’. The decision to record the album live, was in part inspired by Keith’s admiration for Lior Shoov; a Parisienne street musician who always plays acoustically, and always live. This, he tells us, would ‘…capture the atmosphere and connection with the audience’. Good call! To emphasise his admiration for this lady, he wrote ‘Lior’; one of the best songs in the collection.
There are some other very well-written songs on this album too. I particularly liked the interesting ‘Twilight Of The Year’; the thoughtful ‘Drop In Slow’; the quirky-chirpy ‘Little Bird’; and the Country-Rocker ‘Got To Be Me’. Also; a thing that I like in a live performance – which I did get with this album – is a brief explanation of each song by the artist, which I think enhances the enjoyment and understanding of it; and Keith provided a good description for several of the songs – without being too long-winded.
The quality of the musicianship in the live performance is very good indeed. The band consist of Keith himself (vocals; guitar; uke); Fern Teather (vocals; bird sounds; shaky egg; Bass); Sam ‘Bongoboy’ Thurlow (Percs; bird sounds); Jonathon Coy (lead guitar; bass); Nick Brown (lead guitar); and Anna Sadler (shaky egg). Competent musos all. Support act ‘Honey and the Bear‘ (Lucy Sampson and Jon Hart), also provided backing vocals on the final offering, ‘Hold My Hand’.
The CD comes in a card gate-fold cover – the type with a plastic CD inlay on the right. It has a cartoon drawing of the band on the cover and a few live photos inside; with credits and thanks etc; but no lyrics. It is available from the website (see below). I quite like this album, and found it a compelling listen that made me keep going back to it – always a good sign! Thanks to TG. PTMQ