Pat Todd first came to prominence with the Lazy Cowgirls in the 70s, but has fronted The Rankoutsiders since 2004. This accompaniment to his ‘Blues, Soul & Rock and Roll’ EP pairs a new Rankoutsiders recording with a cover tune that’s somehow been on Todd’s “to do” list for decades. In doing so, it marries the past and present, neatly drawing a line under a long overdue project whilst simultaneously looking forward.
On this 2016 release, among other things, Sam Alone sets out to recount tales of blue collar strife. Armed with a booming voice and a guitar he calls his “working class rifle”, the Portuguese performer could possibly be accused of trying just that little bit too hard to appeal to the working class listener. And with an obvious love of Springsteen, his sounds are familiar sounds enough, but does he – and his band The Gravediggers – have what it takes to make an impression, especially treading a path so many have stomped down before?
Imagine what a band might sound like if the new wave edge of Tommy Tutone collided with The Gaslight Anthem’s American rock… That would surely be cool, wouldn’t it? If that kind of rock ‘n’ roll floats your boat, then you need look no further than the 2013 release by Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band. On ‘Promises To Deliver’, Nato and company really bring the party. It doesn’t matter whether their listeners are in the highlands of Scotland, the middle of Greece or in a far flung corner of Australia, the musical sounds are so vibrant and heartfelt, that within a couple of tracks it’s like being transported to Springsteen’s beloved New Jersey or the heartland of blue collar America.