Bob BradshawBob Bradshaw
Album: Whatever You Wanted
Label: Fluke
Tracks: 12

Americana-cum-acoustic roots with more than a hint of late sixties singer/songwriter, 'Whatever You Wanted' comes from the pen and guitar of Irishman Bob Bradshaw, now a US resident with a keen ear for the traditions of both his homeland and his adopted, sprawling country of country music.

The 12-tracks clearly echo his thoughts and observations of life in the slow-lane with love, loss, hope and heartfelt lyrics ringing true and straight. Co-written with Bassist Scoop McGuire, the album is packed with Bradshaw's spare but strong vocals and some simply excellent electric, light slidework on frets by Duke Levine who easily slips from hard-driving lead fretwork to down-low bluesy moods while Bradshaw sensitively keeps the rhythm rolling nicely.

The songs themselves have a positively late sixties/early seventies side to them while remaining rooted in modern country/Americana with Bradshaw's lyricism at times hypnotically catchy. This is a guy who can sure write and play in the modern Americana tradition with complete ease, bags of quality and evocative confidence.

On the closing track, 'The Long Ride Home', Bradshaw is overshadowed by the elegiac keyboards of James Rohr, with a track that bristles with echoes of Randy Newman at his best, while on another track, 'Sparrow', Cello and Fiddle from Duncan Wickel work perfectly alongside some understated horns and a recurrent riff reminiscent of the central theme from The Beatles' old number, 'Norwegian Wood'. 'Whatever You Wanted' is an interesting release, a bit of a slow-burner, but worth the effort and ultimately rewarding. Worth checking out

Iain Patience

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