Don’t let the title fool you, if you’re expecting the quintessential man-and-a-guitar singing sad songs as the alcohol slips down and the evening grows dark, this isn’t that. It’s something far more accomplished. This is some solid country-twinged rock with enough wind in its sails to rattle along nicely.
Bob Bradshaw has been releasing good music for decades and his road-weary voice and experienced vocals ensure you are in capable hands, from opener ‘Waiting’ that sounds like a stripped back Rolling Stones song, through the troubadour ‘I Know a Place’ to the head-nodding ‘Hot in the Kitchen’ until we reach the final track ‘Stepping Stones’, each one is a result of understanding the type of musician he is.
‘Rosa’ jumps out at midway and, to my ears, the star of the show, it drips with tequila and deserves a dusty porch and a chair to watch the drama unfold of small-town Mexico. Some beautiful production choices of a lone trumpet (lifted straight from a Mariachi band), pounding drums, a dramatic, chaotic solo and deep bass, imagine a Mexican version of the Tom Jones classic ‘Delilah’ and you’re nearly there. Brilliant.
Of course there are times to cool off, ‘The Silk Road Caravan’ almost acts as a sequel to ‘Rosa’ with its musical choices and ‘I Keep it in’ is a song to look at the stars to.
The album grows as it goes, each song giving something new away. It’s an album I enjoyed far more than I thought I would, I knew it would be solid, the back catalogue is too strong to suggest otherwise but it’s an impressive album of nuances and smart turns. Good stuff.