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Wilson, Ash: Broken Machine

In the run up to the debut release from UK bluesman Ash Wilson, Broken Machine has become a rather anticipated release, the guitarists's reputation reaching out before him. Hype can be a difficult beast to tame and yet with a sound that somehow feels fresh, while pulling all its cues from the traditions any blues guitarist worth his salt will reference, it's pretty hard to find much to complain about. In terms of comparison, fellow countryman Aynsley Lister is a strong touching point and yet while Lister infuses his attack with a more commercial, accessible edge, Wilson is more about the gritty traditions than the sparkling chorus. Vocally he's much more precise and considered than you often find in this musical arena, leaving you sometimes yearning for a tougher, rougher edge. It's not that he doesn't have soul, it's just that, in terms of his voice, you have to dig for it a little.

That however couldn't be further from the truth where his guitar playing is concerned, a free flowing style thriving as it pumps out the album's title cut, or pounds through the sweaty rail track thunder of "Show Me How To Love You" and the bounce and clap of the piston poppin' "World's Gone Crazy". However you really could pull out just about any track on this album and find something to like, "Peace And Love" throbbing on a bulging bass line and hook laden Hammond, while "Out Of Time" adds a little Free like focus and "The Hitcher" shows Wilson can also slow it down while still upping the intensity. Although from the slower numbers it may just well be "Holding Hands" where things click together in the most memorable of fashions, the guitar singing, howling and wailing as it seduces.

Co-writing the songs with the brother Phil, who also drums on, produces and mixes the whole shebang, the Wilson have done an excellent job, the entire album sounding rich, full, authentic and contemporary. The results allowing all the instruments to shine through and find more than enough room to breathe. Something second guitarist Jesse Davey of The Hoax, as well as keyboard man Bob Fridzema (King King) and bassist Roger Inness (Chaka Khan) use hugely to their advantage. This may well be a Broken Machine but get under this album's skin and you'll find that Ash Wilson and his band mates run like a potent, well oiled outfit.

Track Listing
1. Show Me How To Love You
2. Worlds Gone Crazy
3. Peace And Love
4. Broken Machine
5. Words Of A Woman
6. Out Of Time
7. The Hitcher
8. Hold On Now
9. Lonely Room
10. Holding Hands

Added: April 22nd 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Ash Wilson online
Hits: 607
Language: english

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