Voodoo Smile –  Ragged Union (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

14203255_1184189898270421_532741306454354670_nIt says something about the quality of Andy Milsom’s songwriting and indeed the band as a whole’s ability to authentically delivery what I guess we will have to call British Americana, that it is difficult to spot the original tracks from the covers on this album. The fact that they chose to cover The Stones and Tom Petty (twice) gives you a good idea of the musical world they inhabit…though their inclusion of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus rendered into a grooving gospel-rocker also shows just how broadly their minds work.

But great as the pre-loved music is, it is the originals that we came here to check out and that they sound like forgotten tracks from the Great American Songbook is what they were probably aiming for. Well, bullseye gentlemen. Dave Preston’s one inclusion, Lovers, is a deftly crafted piece, emotive and full of regret and Andy Milsom seems to be able to knock out songs with ease  which seem to exist at that point where the Mason Dixon line joins the M4 corridor.

This is a band which references rather than repeats, picks at rather than plunders, tips a hat to the music it loves rather than tries to copy wholesale and the result is a rather wonderful and fully formed British take on Southern music. Because of this deference they avoid the cliche that many of their contemporaries fall in to and instead fashion an album whose original inclusions are as good as the classics they punctuated them with. Somewhere down the line these British boys will pen their own American Girl and who knows where that will take them!

Advertisements

About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
This entry was posted in alt-country, british-americana, country rock, rock, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s