Reviews

HogieHogie
Album: River Of Mercy
Label: One Man Band Recordings
Tracks: 12
Website: http://www.hogiewagon.com

Country/Americana flavoured debut from London based Hogie on "River Of Mercy", a personal collection of songs written around the time his mother passed away and reflecting his conflicts with faith and belief. Hogie, aka Tim Higgins, boasts a varied career in the arts, including painting, photography, film and graphic design. Alongside this also spending time developing and honing his song-writing skills which started in a short-lived art college punk band. Hogie's writing and comment on how he sees the world complete with all its inconsistencies and inequalities should not solely label him as a 'protest singer' as his lyrics also encompass moving tribulations of love and life and touched upon in the lyrics of 'Rome' which are adapted from the eulogy that he delivered at his mother's funeral.

Chance meeting with producer Kenny Dickenson (KT Tunstall, Billy Bragg, Rumer) leading to collaboration with Dickenson on keyboards who also assembled renowned musicians CJ Hillman (Billy Bragg) on guitar & pedal steel, Luke Bullen (Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros) on drums, Angie Pollock (Goldfrapp) on backing vocals, Arnulf Lindner (Ed Harcourt) on cello, blues-harp legend Steve 'West' Weston (Wilco Johnson/Roger Daltrey) and trumpet maestro Noel Langley who provides haunting accompaniment in the mariachi of 'Ballad Of Santa Muerte'.

Superbly crafted throughout 'River Of Mercy' visits gospel while allure of 'Think Of Me' conjures love's dream. Idle hands, the devil's work, brushed aside in toe-tapper 'Devil's Got His Work To Do' . Genre hopping remit fulfilled with the harmonica on the R&B of 'Toe The Line', spare two minutes to board the last train and enjoy the ride .

Tony Wilding