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Rich Evans & The 2nd EditionRich Evans & The 2nd Edition
Album: Left Of Laurel Canyon
Label: Baby Dylan
Tracks: 11

With no discernible website to help, I rely on Rich Evans's Twitter biog (@RichEvansSongs) to tell me that he is a "veteran Americana/Blues/ Folk singer-songwriter based in London". Further research tells me that he the former lead singer and songwriter with The Mariachis, who achieved some recognition in Europe around ten years ago with the song 'Kicking Through The Cinders', leading to tours with Bill Wyman and Joe Cocker. More delving reveals evidence of solo recordings both sides of the pond.

Sadly, although we're told that this album of original songs has been recorded at sessions both in the UK and the USA and features "a mixture of British and American musicians", we're not told who they are, nor are we told much more at all about the band, the man or the music.

The album's production suffers from a similar lack of attention to detail, it has to be said. Whilst there are some well-crafted songs on show here, probably best described as Americana than anything else, much of the musical detail is lost, being particularly muffled in the lower registers and even an otherwise delightful lap steel guitar solo on the album's standout track 'Baton Rouge' loses a little of its bite.

The upbeat 'Sunshine Skyway' also impresses, and could easily be a reworked west coast 60s classic, and there's some nifty piano and vocal backing on 'Me And Howlin' Wolf'. Evans's vocal, the lyrical content and the musical contributions are all perfectly acceptable, but the production issue for me get in the way of all of that.

Maybe it's a promo issue which will be resolved by the official launch date in July. I hope so, since Left of Laurel Canyon could, with better production, packaging and publicity, be a much more impressive album which deserves to attract attention in the right places.

Ian Taylor