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Robin BibiRobin Bibi
Album: No More Secrets
Label: Ashwood
Tracks: 9

Robin Bibi is hoping his move to Ashwood Music is the start of better things. In his album notes he says it's been a long road with "many stages, many places, many faces" but now he's released his first album under the Ashwood banner.

And on this evidence, it's a smart move. This is an unashamed blues/rock album but it is put together with a lot of skill and technique.

Listen to the guitar on Muddy Waters and you will discover that Robin is no slouch when it comes to finding his way around a fretboard.

There is so much to enjoy here. The opening track, Play, leaps out the traps and I loved the tone on Robin's slide guitar, just this side of dirty. In Too Deep is more soulful, with atmospheric guitar fills.

The album was recorded with Tony Marten on bass guitar and vocals and Craig Bacon on drums/percussion and they do an excellent job.

The Blackjack Horns - Gary Barnacle, Nik Carter and Jack Birchwood - make their first appearance on the third track, Packing My Possessions, a slow-burning blues. They fill the sound perfectly with their tight arrangements. However I just felt this track was too long, coming in at 8.19.

Christmas Day follows a tried and trusted formula with its stop rhythms but it's nevertheless very enjoyable.

There's plenty of hard-rocking guitar to listen to on this album - Fast Lanes Busy is just bursting with great guitar. For a chance of pace, Get In It, has a funky beat but it's back to blues with Muddy Waters, a lovely atmospheric track, with great percussion.

The title track is an unashamed 12-bar rocker with great horns. It is probably the most commercial-sounding track on the entire album. The album wraps up with Robin playing his heart out on No Label On Me, another rocking number.

If you love really good blues/rock look no further than Robin Bibi - he's no longer a secret!

John Knighton