This review will begin by apologizing to Geraint for the fact that the first time I saw him play in The Balham Alligators I walked out halfway through there seemingly room clearing set at the Sir George Robey where fully two thirds of the audience had left before The Balham Alligators came on as almost everyone had come to see Michelle Shocked and left as soon as she finished. I now can't believe I only stayed for part of The Balham Alligators set but my snotty youth attitude failed to be open minded enough back then. Certainly, my loss.
As walking out on a legend like Geraint Watkins was stupid as any musician with a CV that includes Dave Edmonds, Nick Lowe, Van Morrison and Rory Gallagher among many others is always going to be worth listening to and this new album that he recorded mainly at home with the help of Basement Jaxx's Simon Ratcliffe producing and finding session musicians online to collaborate with. The album comes with artwork from one of my favorite drummers Chris Musto.
Rush Of Blood is a very western sounding old style country song that almost sounds like your riding on horseback as the story of who gives him that Rush Of Blood with sweeping strings and brushed drums a wonderful guitar flourishes and provides the backdrop to the movie scene.
Hold Back has some great honking harp and a great striding bass sound for a really cool old fashioned love song it sounds like your sat in the room, Simon Ratcliffe's production just makes sure everything sounds in it's own place in the mix throughout the album, But then his CV includes Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson making him perfect for producing very classy country Blues like this.
Heart of Stone is a slow laid-back country love song of heartbreak and hopes for redemption and another chance at love. Middle Of The Night sounds a lot like a late 70's Johnny Cash song this has such a great almost country dance feel to it. Heaven Only Knows is very stripped back and floaty with a wonderful clarinet solo and like the rest of the album just sounds fantastic.
On The Nside is a just beautiful slow almost gospel heartbreak blues. On My Mind has almost a chain gang or field holler feel to it as you know just how much she's on your mind and that incredible guitar solo comes along. I Got The Blues does just what you'd expect, a really nice almost Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay feel to the tune while Geraint tries to figure out why he's got the blues again as he jukeboxes his blues at the end of the song.
Reason To Live is a good upbeat accordion led country blues shuffle of a love song. The album closes with Another Day Over that feel very much like a lullaby to his love as he dances in the moonlight a very nice gentle end to a masterful album or is it, as the cd contains a secret bonus track a cool version of Wherever There's Love that is full of baleful strings and stark beauty a wonderful coda at the end of the album.
Find out more at www.geraintwatkins.com or www.lastmusic.co.uk