The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.
"Brian Wilson and Friends" (BMG Sound and Vision)- This easy on the ear CD / DVD package focusses attention on the show which Brian Wilson played at The Venetian in Los Angeles in December 2014 to help to promote his new album, "No Pier Pressure." The Beach Boys' creative mainstay tends to cut a curiously detached figure on stage these days, but his vocal exploits are expertly underpinned here by a top notch backing band featuring old bandmate Al Jardine as listeners are taken on a tuneful jaunt down memory lane via a string of sunkissed pop classics led by "Sloop John B ," "California Girls" and his innovative 1966 chart-topper, "Good Vibrations."
The Charlie Daniels Band, "The Epic Trilogy Vol.3" (Retroworld)-The latest offering in Retroworld's excellent series of Charlie Daniels retrospectives brings together three fine examples of this colourful character's eclectic country-rock sound. The gifted multi-instrumentalist recorded "Honey in the Rock," "Saddle Tramp" and "Me And The Boys" during the thirteen year period between 1972 and 1985, touching on elements of blues, gospel and the once hugely fashionable Southern Rock genre as he served up memorable ditties such as "Dixie On My Mind," "Midnight Lady" and "Wichita Jail."
The Chambers Brothers, "Love, Peace and Happiness" (Repertoire)- This life enhancing package was first released in 1969 as a vinyl double album, divided equally between studio recordings and a punchy live set recorded at New York's legendary Fillmore East. The Chambers Brothers never enjoyed too much in the way of fame or fortune but the five piece band's deliciously psychedelic brand of sanctified soul still repays closer investigation today, and newcomers to their well nigh irresistible sound would be well advised to lend an ear to the epic "Love,Peace and Happiness" and the brothers' covers of The Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" and Curtis Mayfield's inspirational "People Get Ready."
Eric Bogle with John Munro, "Voices" (Greentrax)-Scottish expatriate Eric Bogle is still best known for the classic anti-war ballads, "No Man's Land" and "The Green Fields of France," which were both penned after he decamped to Australia in 1969. The Peebles born folk singer's latest collaboration with long term musical sidekick John Munro finds the latter handling vocals on his two contributions, "The Best Of Times" and "Voices" alongside classic Bogle creations such as "Freedom Lost," "First The Children" and "Heartland."