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Rossi + Rickard: We Talk Too Much

I’d hazard a guess that nearly everyone reading this will know that the Rossi in question is Status Quo mainstay Francis, but just exactly who is his +1 for We Talk Too Much? Primarily known for her part in the The Relatives, Hannah Rickard was also the fiddler in Aquostic mode Quo, which led to the two protagonists here teaming up to write a selection of songs billed as country & western - Quo fans take cover!

Fiddledy-dee, fiddley-dah, “I’ll Take You Home” hoe-downs things into life, upbeat, twirling and clearly full of fun it’s a decent start that just about countries its western while reminding of, well….? “I’ve Tried Letting It Go” allows Rickard to take a stronger vocal presence, her intentional warble certainly less hard hitting than her attack for The Relatives but the cracking combination with Rossi behind the mic is there for all to hear. With his Tele still plugged in, the guitar playing sounds like, well….?

“Oughta Know By Now” continues the jaunt, room for a banjo taken up by a twanged guitar as the boogie beat reminds of someone, but who….? And then there’s a bum-bum-bumpa-bum-bum intro for “But I Just Said Goodbye” that leaves little doubt that no matter how vehemently Mr Rossi protests, who this all sounds like is, well….Status Quo. Admittedly it’s the Quo of “Marguerita Time” and Bernie Frost that left a lot of fans floundering, but if you’ve heard any of the post-Quo work of Rossi’s old song-writing partner Bob Young, then you’ll discover that he’s also released a lot of material that sounds like Quo country - he even named an album In Quo Country after all - and he too lends a writing hand here.

“Waiting For Jesus” with Rickard in the front seat and the strum pulled in tight is more overtly country and Rossi’s croon is rather wonderful when backed by the lap-steel, while “Heartbreaker” shuffles along quite authentically. However, apart from that, the likes of “Maybe Tomorrow” could easily have slipped onto the Back To Back album, if the much missed Rick Parfitt had rocked it up a little, while “Good Times” adds a loosely “Living On An Island” vibe, although Rickard’s voice adds a decidedly different dimension. But with “I’m Only Happy” and “I Talk Too Much” easy to imagine sliding onto a Quo album such as Thirsty Work (string-keyboards, layered vocals and all), it’s hard to know who’s kidding who here. The noises being made from the Rossi camp are that this is a huge departure for the man himself and odds on Quo diehards will hate it. Take a step back though and it’s hard not to suggest that Rossi has been writing fare like this for a long time and even though they’ll protest otherwise Quo followers have been buying lapping it up for decades.

Track Listing
1. I'll Take You Home
2. I've Tried Letting It Go
3. Oughta Know By Now
4. But I Just Said Goodbye
5. Waiting For Jesus
6. I'm Only Happy
7. Rearrange
8. I Talk Too Much
9. Heartbreaker
10. Good Times Bad Times
11. Sinking In Blue
12. Maybe Tomorrow

Added: April 12th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Francis Rossi online
Hits: 586
Language: english

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