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Chris Bevington & Friends - Better Start Cookin' (2016)

31-01-2016, 18:34
Blues | Rock

Title: Better Start Cookin'
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Self Released
Genre: Electric Blues, Blues Rock
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 50:17
Total Size: 118 MB

1. 61 & 49 (3:48)
2. Better Start Cookin (4:02)
3. Bold As Love (4:57)
4. Boogie Man (4:28)
5. Call My Name (4:24)
6. Change The World (5:54)
7. Everyday I Have The Blues (5:11)
8. Express Train (3:54)
9. Old Friend (5:01)
10. Someone To Watch Over Me (4:58)
11. Still Haven't Seen You Cry (3:34)

This is the second CD by Chris Bevington and Friends and was awaited with anticipation – could it be as good as the first? Well I’m pleased to say they have done it yet again with ‘Better Start Cookin’ , with a mix of blues, rock and Americana, the amazing collective band have nailed it!!! Many of the tracks on the album are written by members of the band, with a great variety of styles which keeps the interest.

Chris had a vision to record music with high calibre musician friends and in the last few years he has done just that. On this album his guests include Robert Hart on vocals from Bad Company fame, George Glover from Climax Blues Band on keys, rising star, vocalist Rebecca Downes, Jim Kirkpatrick on guitar and vocals, Steve Overland on vocals, Clare Fluff Smith on strings, Chris Aldridge on sax and clarinet and Pete ‘Sarge’ Frampton on guitars. Also playing alongside Chris Bevington on bass, were multi instrumentalist, singer songwriter and producer Scott Ralph, Andy Carr on drums, Adrian Gibson, Mike Yorke and Jamie Bannister on brass, Dave Edwards and Aidan Goldstraw on keys with Sarah Miller and Kate Robinson on backing vocals.

The first track ’61 & 49', on this very enjoyable album hits the spot and is probably my favourite. Written by Jim Kirkpatrick and Scott Ralph it has heavy raw rock overtones and strong vocals from Robert Hart, supported by Rebecca Downes, a real ‘get down and dirty’, full on track. Excellent slide guitar input from Pete Frampton and powerhouse drumming from Andy Carr with a superb bass line from Chris Bevington. ~Rosy Greer

A pleasing Bernard Allison shuffle ‘Boogie Man’ to follow, with excellent vocals and guitar from Scott Ralph, jazzy piano input from George Glover and plenty of brass with stupendous sax from Jamie Bannister. Slowing the pace with ‘Change The World’ written by George Glover, Scott Ralph and Chris Bevington – not on the ‘blues’ ladder, but an excellent track with Robert on vocals, Chris Aldridge on sexy sax and Adrian Gibson on trumpet with the addition of Alan White on harp.

A slinky jazzy number ‘Express Train’ displays the writing talents of Scott Ralph on vocals and lead guitar and Dave Edwards on keys with a good input of brass. The name sake of the album ‘Better Start Cookin’, another blues shuffle, has writer Scott on vocals and guitar, giving us a spectacular solo, with brass in plenty.

A brilliant part acoustic rendition of the Allman Brothers ‘Old Friend’, with class player Jim Kirkpartrick on vocals and guitars, superb. Next the classic BB King, ‘Every Day I Have The Blues’ with a great Gospel feel on the intro. Steve Overland takes the vocal lead with Scott Ralph on guitar.

Follow on with a cracking song with an Americana feel, written by George Glover and Scott Ralph, ‘Call My Name’, flies super joint lead vocals from star in the making Rebecca Downes and Scott Ralphs with Pete Frampton on slide. Then onto a well put together take of a Hendrix number ‘Bold As Love’ , with great guitar and vocals from Scott and a fan fare of superb sax from Jamie.

The penultimate track, , ‘Still Haven’t Seen You Cry’, hints of Americana and features Scott on vocals, with Pete Frampton playing superb slide guitar on this Scott/Thomas/Ralph(EMI) track. The final number on this excellent album, and slowing the pace, ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ , is written by Robert Hart who performs lead vocals in this soul drenched track. An powerful end to an exceptional album.

All the musicians have given their all and none more so than Chris Bevington himself, who as the bass player stands back from the lime light. Without him however, this project would never have got off the ground, so it’s hats off for his hard work and dedication and well done to all those involved to hopefully make this excellent CD, Better Start Cookin’, one of the best albums for 2016. ~Rosy Greer

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