Solo – Arnold Mitchem (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Lyrically running on a blues tradition, Solo takes the “since my baby left me” cliche and turns it on its head. For Solo is not the usual maudlin, self-pitying ballad that is the usual result after such events but rather a celebration of freedom. Less a chance to moan about the situation, more a chance to reinvent yourself and grab life, and the potential that it offers, with both hands.

And musically too, Mitchem plays around with a blues-rock palette but again the result is unexpectedly upbeat. Groovesome and funky, full of gorgeous blues licks and no small amount of rock energy, this is the spirit of rhythm and blues dusted down, given a polish and presented to a whole new audience.

Even if you are working with some established sounds and styles, you still need to move with the times, push the boundaries, find new audiences, offer new takes on old traditions. Solo is the sound of Arnold Mitchem doing just that.

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