Here is your latest selection of record reviews, courtesy of Kevin Bryan.
The Very Best of Ridge Riders (Talking Elephant). This evocative package was the brainchild of folk luminaries Ashley Hutchings, Phil Beer and Chris While, who joined forces in 1999 to create the soundtrack of a groundbreaking TV series about the ancient Ridgeways of Southern England. The fruits of their labours are gathered together here alongside some live recordings culled from a concert that the trio gave a couple of years later, and roots music enthusiasts who’ve enjoyed the participants’ acclaimed exploits with outfits such as The Albion Band and Show of Hands should find more than enough to sustain their interest here.
Gov’t Mule - Live... With A Little Help From My Friends Volume 2 (Retroworld). This southern rock jam band began life in 1994 as an offshoot of the illustrious Allman Brothers and have since gone on to become a regular sight at music festivals throughout North America. Retroworld’s latest CD re-issue captures their performance at the Roxy Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on New Year’s Eve 1998, showcasing their extended reworkings of much loved rock classics such as
Albert King’s The Hunter and the late great Lowell George’s Little Feat opus, Spanish Moon.
Nine Below Zero - 13 Shades of Blue (Zed Records). London’s finest blues band have been strutting their stuff in no uncertain fashion for almost four decades now, and their latest CD offering must rank as Nine Below Zero’s most eclectic to date. Founder members Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham remain Nine Below Zero’s creative driving forces as they breathe new life into a varied assortment of tracks culled from the best of blues and r&b, including Aretha Franklin’s Don’t Play That Song, John Mayall’s Crawling Up A Hill and Louisiana zydeco legend Boozoo Chavis’ infectious 1954 hit, Paper In My Shoe.
Thibaut Garcia - Leyendas (Warner Classics). This richly rewarding vehicle for Thibaut Garcia’s talents finds the young French guitarist applying his impeccable instrumental technique to some of the most attractive pieces in the classical repertoire. Works by Albeniz, Rodrigo and Manuel de Falla are all given an airing in the process, and the proceedings draw to a close with Francisco Tarrega’s evocative tremolo study, Recuderos de la Alhambra.