Here is your latest set of record reviews, courtesy of Kevin Bryan.
Devon Allman - Ride Or Die (Ruf Records). It can never be easy to pursue a musical career in the shadow of a famous father, but illustrious family connections don’t seem to have presented too much of a hindrance to the guitar wielding son of Allman Brothers’ mainstay Gregg. Devon Allman’s solo output maintains the impeccable standards which he set during his stint with the highly-regarded Royal Southern Brotherhood, and Ride Or Die showcases some of the
compelling Southern rock creations that you’ll be likely to hear in this or any other year. Say Your Prayers, Find Ourselves and Watch What You Say emerge as stand-out tracks before Devon closes proceedings with a fine revamp of The Cure’s A Night Like This.
Oasis - Be Here Now: Chasing The Sun Edition (Big Brother Recordings). The Oasis re-issue programme continues with the release of this greatly expanded version of the band’s third album.
Be Here Now first saw the light of day in 1997 and has now notched up worldwide sales in excess of eight million. The original package has now been fleshed out into a three-CD set with the inclusion of assorted B-sides and rare and unreleased recordings, including the Mustique Demos, 14 previously unheard album demos recorded on the Caribbean island in 1996. Splendid stuff.
Chris Murphy - Red Mountain Blues (Teahouse Records). This life-enhancing roots music concoction was the brainchild of demon fiddler Chris Murphy, who applies his fiery instrumental technique to some invigorating songs and instrumentals aided and abetted by luminaries such as banjo ace Herb Pedersen and Grammy Award winning mandolinist Tim O’Brien. The latter performer also supplies vocals on the affecting Kitchen Girl, and Americana devotees would be well advised to investigate Red Mountain Blues in its entirety.
Melanie - Leftover Wine (Talking Elephant Records). Talking Elephant’s excellent Melanie re-issue programme moves on a little further with the release of this live offering from 1970. The acoustic balladeer was captured at her unadorned best in this solo show from New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall as she injected genuine power and passion into affecting creations such as The Saddest Thing, Leftover Wine and Tuning My Guitar.