Tony Villiers has managed to merge a multitude of classic sounds yet keep a unique and fresh feel to his latest release 'Songs of Love and Fate'. Along with his band 'The Villains' we can pick out Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan sometimes all in one song.
'The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea' opens the album with a confident wild abandon that has the feel of a group of musicians sitting round a table sharing licks and solos. This is what working with a band should be like!
'Rabid Dog Blues','Dear Mama' and 'Lucky Rabbit Blues' dig in deeper to the bands 'Blues' background with foot stomping 12 bar, rasping harmonica, simple direct solos and the talented Paul Gurney's shared production and piano holding it all together.
One song that sets him above the average as a songwriter is 'Rock Salt', this is definitely one of my favourite tracks with a superb melody that Dylan would be proud of.
'Big Dancin' Old Bear Blues' and 'Ramblin' Man' send me back to Greenwich Village, New York in the early 60's, a time when songs where tinged with rebellion and hope. Tony nails that feeling as he sings 'Take it Away Bob!'
We are soon brought into the 21st century with the fabulously crafted 'Swingin' On Into The Sunshine'. A song that sits on the groove and personifies the live feel of this rootsy whiskey soaked party.
Tony's lyrics are tinged with what seems to be a tongue in cheek personal battle with alcohol, love and the devil. Some people work hard to get a sound that satisfies like this other people have that sound in their bones. Tony Villiers is immersed in it. He has all the attributes of a modern day folk music hero.
David Dee Moore
|West My Friend: Quiet Hum||Tony McPhee: Foolish Pride|
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