Tag Archives: frank marino

55. ROMEO CROW “They Come And Go Like Rain” EP (2013)

Well, I never cease to be amazed by the amount of musical talent that exists in this wonderful World. And I’m always pleased to find out about someone doing something new. For me, Londoner Romeo Crow fits that criterion. Please excuse my ignorance (once again), but I’d never heard of him till I found him following me on Twitter recently. Looking into it, I realised that he had an EP out, called They Come And Go Like Rain. Keen to hear it, I downloaded it, and liked it immediately. They say that the first track on an album (or EP) should be one that grabs your attention at once; and quite honestly, the words that went through my mind when I heard the opening riff, was: ‘Wo! This sounds good!’; and I was still thinking that when the final track finished!

'They Come And Go Like Rain' (Image: Romeo Crow)

‘They Come And Go Like Rain’ (Image: Romeo Crow)

Mr.Crow is a multi-instrumentalist based in Battersea, SW London. (He is also a writer and film-maker). He has recorded other stuff too, but what concerns us here is this excellent EP. It is a six-track opus of Blues-Rock compositions; written and recorded by the man himself in his own studio. And a fine job he has made of it too.

He kicks off with the attention-grabbing ‘Storm In The City’ and follows with ‘Get Like This’. On both tracks he pretty much nails all the accepted rules of a good rock number, but there is a large measure of noticeable individuality within them too – memorable rhythm riffs, and tasty solos. Vocals too are again, a balance of the tried and tested; and the unique. And those things can be said of the whole EP really.

The third track ‘Sharing Time’ is a more thoughtful song; reminiscent of a moody Free or Bad Co number – a bit Beatles-esque too.  Vocals on this one remind me of an angst-ridden Paul Rodgers – but that’s not a bad thing! ‘Still Loving You’ is next, with its nicely worked synchronised / harmonised vocals and guitar.

‘Fat Freddy’ is next on the agenda. After the first four tracks, this surprised me with its central section of spiel, in London inner-city street-youth accent – but why not? Its probably the most unusual / individual number in the collection. The finishing track is ‘Would You Hold It Against Me’: an excellent, moody, Bluesy, slow-tempo Zeppelin-esque number. Vocals on this are a little Robert Plant-like too. Again, not  a bad thing. There’s a great rattling bass on this one too.

Now, I don’t know Romeo personally, and I don’t know what music he’s been listening to; but when I played this EP, I heard sublte textures and nuances of sound in the axemanship that reminded me of such luminaries as HendrixPage; Kravitz; Marino; Kossoff; and Johnny Winter, (among others that I can’t place). Influence or coincidence? I don’t know, but either way, Romeo has developed his own guitar style nontheless; and its that individuality that makes this sample of his work a bit different. Vocally, as I’ve said, he reminds me a lot of the greatest of all rock frontmen, Paul Rodgers (+others); but again, there’s no denying that he is unique too. Musically the songs are very good; with quite strong lyrics too.

I don’t know what else Romeo has up his sleeve – or what he’s capable of – but it will be interesting to hear how he develops musically in the future. My guess is that he’ll be exploring and experimenting with a smorgasbord of genres. We’ll see. I really enjoyed listening to this EP; and I can recommend it. If you you’re into any of the artists I’ve mentioned above – and you like to hear something new as well – then you’ll love it too. PTMQ

Here is a link to Romeo Crow’s website….

http://blog.romeocrow.com/lyric-video-for-living-like-you-do-sketch/

24 . JAMES ANTHONY “Some People Get It” (Haltone Records, 2014)

JAMES ANTHONY’s “Some People Get It!” (Photo: PTMQ)

Recently I was unexpectedly contacted by Blues guitarist JAMES ANTHONY from Ontario, Canada.  No, I’d never heard of him before either; but after a little research, I soon realised that I was dealing with a very experienced and talented musician and song-writer indeed; and I was impressed with the music that I heard. This was a pleasant surprise for me as I’ve had a long-held interest and fondness for Canadian Rock and Blues guitarists since my teenage years. This is after all, the country that gave us ALEX LIFESON; RIK EMMETT;  FRANK MARINO; PAT TRAVERS; and of course the late, great JEFF HEALEY; to name but a few.

James has already released several albums in Canada to great critical acclaim. Yet is currently virtually unknown in the UK.  On the phone he told me that he’d love to play England but had no contacts over here. And that ironically, Canadian artists have to leave Canada in order to become famous – even in their homeland! Well I’m no music promoter (I’m just a bloke who writes a blog!), but I know two or three promoters who may interested in him and his excellent band, and I promised to mention James to them – which I have done. (Watch this space).  James was so pleased that he sent me a few of his CDs, to review – and thereby spread the word.

So in order to help The James Anthony Band become more known in the UK (or indeed further afield; as my blog is being read the World over now), I told James that I’d start by reviewing the latest album “Some People Get It”. Now, being as I’m not familiar with James’ work; comparisons with other artists that I do know, are inevitable. So if I say it reminds me of “so and so’s” music, that doesn’t mean James has necessarily been influenced by; or indeed, copied that person. I’ll say a few words about each track:

A case in point is the first track, ‘Right Between The Eyes’, because as soon as it started, I thought of COCO MONTOYA. Well, that’s not a bad comparison, because there are similarities between the two guitarists throughout the collection. Lovely guitar tone on this track.

Second song is ‘What About Us’. Its a souly-blues number; very pleasant; and floats along nicely. This is followed by the title track; which starts with a flourish of notes from (what sounds to me like) a Telecaster. ‘ALBERT COLLINS’ I thought!  It has a funky-blues vibe; and is very catchy.

‘Waiting For So Long’ is a beautiful song; and has a lovely harmonised twin lead guitar solo in part. This is followed by ‘Valentine’s Day’; another funky-blues that gets the foot tapping.  ‘Who’s Doing Who?’ follows. Its a bright and chirpy blues number, with cynical lyric that made me smile. Nice Bass and Harp on this one.

I love ‘Me Or That Damn Guitar’. If you like trad-sounding Urban Blues, you’ll love it too. Great Keys, and unusual use of a Wah-Wah. Its for anyone who’s missus is on their case!  ‘Walking My Blues Away’ continues in the same vein; and is another great song.

‘Rockabilly Walk’ is up next. Its inclusion surprised me. Its lyric starts like the traditional English participatory song ‘Hokey-Cokey’. I don’t know if James has developed a dance to go with this, but it’d be a great party song. It makes a change for me to hear a little Rockabilly too.

‘If You Love Me’ is a fine, light-weight Rock’n’Roll piece – think of the classic  ‘Time Is On My Side’. Yet another complete change of style is tried out with the pen-ultimate track: ‘Date With The Blues’. This is a cool Jazzy Blues; mellow, with a beautiful guitar tone. I love it! A further style is manifest in the last offering, ‘Travelling In My Mind’. It is an acoustic Down-Home style Blues. It is a great little song demonstrating James’ skill with the acoustic guitar; accompanied only by the harmonica. Nice bit of Bottleneck slide-work too.

All songs are written by James. They are well constructed and demonstrate his versatility as a writer; encompassing many different Bluesy styles. I like this album a lot. Its bright, classy, and at all times palatable. Its the kind of Blues that could bring a Blues-sceptic to the blues table for a veritable feast! ‘Some People Get It’ says James; I get it….. and if you like a bit of blues, you’ll get it too!

The band consists of: James himself, who plays all guitars; and vocals.  BUCKY BERGER (Drums); and JAMES RASMUSSEN (Bass). Other musos (on Keys and Harp etc) have been brought in as necessary. James also produced and co-engineered the album.

Here is a link to James Anthony’s website:

http://www.jamesanthony.ca/

Here is a vid of The JAB at the Kitchener Blues Fest, Ontario, Canada…

PTMQ