“Time catches up to you…and comes for us all” sings Matty James Cassidy during the chorus of ‘After All’, an instant highlight from his 2020 full length release ‘Old Souls’. It’s a sentiment that really seems to fit, as for the artist formerly known as Matty James, it seems he’s had nothing but time to reach this point in his career. Over a series of independent releases, he’s honed his mix of rock, blues and country to the point where this album genuinely sounds like a work calling out for greater attention. For anyone previously aware of Cassidy’s work, it’s a record that will more than entertain and thanks to a stronger sounding band and a much better production value, he’s turned in some of his best songs to date. ‘Old Souls’ has very clearly been made on a bigger budget, although fans should not worry that “bigger budget” somehow translates into “smoother material”, or be a case of that old chestnut “selling out” (a favourite war cry by record buyers who fear change and aren’t musicians themselves).
2019 was a big year for UK blues rock band Big River. After a few years of tireless gigging, they’d started to make higher profile appearances. Perhaps more importantly, they finally released their debut album ‘Redemption’, a long time in the planning. We last spoke to founding guitarist Damo Fawsett four years ago, so he was keen to come back to Real Gone and fill us in on the band’s activities. This time, we got the full picture as we also got to spend time with Ant Wellman (bass), Adam Bartholomew (vocals) and Joe Martin (drums). Obviously, they’re all thrilled to bits with the response the album has gained…
Not to be confused with the Hong Kong rap artist who released his fourth album ‘2019’ at the beginning of 2020, this Little Albert is a project helmed by Albert Piccolo, a musician best known for fronting Italian doom metal act Messa. Albert takes a sidestep from the heaviness for his first recording as “Little Albert”, choosing instead to apply lots of dark and fuzzy guitar to six pieces of dirty blues music.
On the surface, it would seem that the British blues boom has been well served by compilation discs over the years. On closer inspection, that hasn’t really been the case at all: the best anthologies tend to be label specific (Blue Horizon’s ‘The Blue Horizon Story’, Decca’s ‘The Blues Scene’ and Immediate’s ‘Blues Anytime’ series, later repackaged as an excellent four CD set by Charly Records). The bulk of the rest seem too concerned with repackaging bits of ‘Blues Anytime’ with cheap, inferior packaging. There hasn’t ever really been a decent compilation covering a lot of ground from different labels, or one unafraid to dig a little deeper beyond the usual suspects.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band are known for their great live performances. Epic sets where – in the time honoured Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers traditions – anything can happen. Many of their previous live shows have been shared by fans, but few match the grandness of their set a couple of nights ago at the LOCKN’ Festival.