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Petit, Stephen Dale: 2020 Visions

A well known blues man, guitarist and singer Stephen Dale Petit doesn’t actually play the blues. Well, by that I mean he does, but it’s via glam, punk, metal and pretty much everything else he has it his disposal. SDP (no, not the Social Democratic Party) leads from the front and does so with a punch and a kick and a shove and a gentle caress which usually ends up in blood spattered cries. With Sophie Lord on bass and Jack Greenwood on drums, the trio kick up a storm of not just styles and approaches, but also of social commentary and disaffection - in fact just look at the album title, 2020 Visions, for the type of neat play on words that often punctuate the thirteen scattergun volleys that launch from this CD (or double vinyl).

The title track opens; a simple uppercut of aggression and shouting choruses that act as the slap to wake you and this album from any semblance of slumber. With a catchy chorus it’s a memorable introduction but when “The Fall Of America” offers a similar style of attitude wrapped up in a smoother veneer, then even this early on there’s little doubt that this journey isn’t quite what initial introductions may have suggested. From the harmonica of Paul Jones and expressive backing vocals from Shemelia Copeland on “Soul Of A Man” to the more old time “On Top”, and from the boogie shuffle of “Steppin’ Out” to the pulsating pop-punk of “Makin’ Out”, the twists and turns never stop their shimmy for attention. That it all somehow hangs together is testament to the authenticity behind everything on display, because not often can such disparate bedfellows feel so cleverly bonded. However it’s the dreamy commercialism of the aforementioned “Makin’ Out” and the howling guitars of “Sputnik Days” that really show the ability of Stephen Dale Petit to turn on a dime and head in a different direction and all without losing a beat.

For all the excellent guitar playing and intriguing atmospheres kicked out across this album, for me it’s the convincing manner with which 2020 Visions covers all of its bases that keeps me hooked in. I can’t tell you it’s a game changing set of songs, or that you haven’t heard these themes before but SDP dances from song to song with real authority here and leaves not just a strong set of tunes behind him but also a real window into our world.

Track Listing
1. 2020 Visions
2. The Fall Of America
3. Roxie’s Song
4. Soul Of A Man
5. On Top
6. Long Tall Shorty
7. Raw
8. Tinderbox
9. The Ending Of The End
10. Steppin’ Out
11. Makin’ it
12. Sputnik Days
13. Zombie Train

Added: June 21st 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Stephen Dale Petit online
Hits: 670
Language: english

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