ROSCO LEVEE AND THE SOUTHERN SLIDE
Another album I'm very happy to see in my review pile this month is 'Get It While You Can', the latest release from Rosco Levee And The Southern Slide. I reviewed the previous album 'Final Approach To Home' at the tail end of 2012 and was extremely impressed with this young man from Kent, UK, and his ability to bring that authentic Delta blues, country and Southern rock sound to a new audience. Plaudits from various sources were many and with good reason. I still listen to that debut album when I can and it has lost none of its initial impact.
This time around Levee and his backing band The Southern Slide have gone in a different direction, toning down the authentic blues sound to focus on a harder Southern rock style mixed with some rock 'n' roll, a little modern blues and some soul. If you liked that first album and are worried then don't be because he has once again proved what a fabulous talent he is.
Yet again, the completely authentic Americana vibe stands out. Rosco really understands roots music in all its forms and, better still, knows how to play it. His guitar (including slide work) is outstanding. Allman Brothers Band, The Band, early Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, Eric Clapton, T-Rex, The Faces, Rival Sons. All these names, new and old, spring to mind when listening to this but, even though influences are worn on the sleeve, this is fresh, exciting, emotional and powerful stuff. Also noticeable this time around is an improvement in Levee's vocals. He sounded great on the first album but, in places, it needed a little more gravel and bourbon soaked goodness. It's fair to say that all the touring, and possibly a few glasses of Honey Jack Daniels along the way, has started to give his delivery exactly that feel and it gives me shivers!
Once again, The Southern Slide are an impeccable band of fellow musicians. Lee Wilson (pianos, clav, Hammond), Simon Gardiner (bass, percussion, backing vocals), Andy Hayes (guitars, mandolin) and David Tettmar (drums, percussion, backing vocals) seem to know exactly how Levee thinks and, if possible, this is even tighter than the debut. Also returning is Duncan Mackay (Primal Scream, Death in Vegas) on trumpets and newbie guests Ian East (saxophones) with Lauren Dove, Izzy Chase-Philmore and Jim Riley on backing vocals. Once again the album was recorded at Ranscombe Analogue Studios straight to tape and it has a hugely warm feel that bands from all genres should really listen to and study.
I'm not going to pick out individual tracks because every one of them strikes gold. I'll yet again repeat myself by saying that not everyone reading on here is going to fall in love with this but Rosco Levee and his band of merry men are the real deal and I very definitely have succumbed to the goodness contained on this CD. I only gave the debut album a 7/10 because I knew that this lot would get even better and I'm pleased to say they haven't let me down. Fantastic!
GET IT WHILE YOU CAN
Review by Rick Tilley
27th Jan 2014
1) Some Angels Fall
2) Gambling Man
3) Howitzer Eyes
4) Back to the Banks
5) Whiskey Blues Goodnight
6) My Gospel
7) When the Band Starts to Play
8) I Got My Own Plan
9) Redemption Calls
10) Look Out Moses
11) Southern Belle
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Rosco really understands roots music in all its forms and, better still, knows how to play it."