CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE – Jan 2014.
Track on the cover-mount cd – Handpicked as one of the HOTTEST bands to watch for in 2014.
CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE – March 2014.
Get Ready To Rock Jan 2014
Red Train Records Records [Release date 27.01.14]
‘Get It While You Can’ wrestles with the common problem of a Brit band trying to sound authentic on material that evokes the deep south with some shit kicking roots rock. Rosco leads from the front, with some sterling slide guitar playing, nifty picking, ripping solos and songs full of booming hooks and catchy riffs.
The result is an Americana tinged album full of good songs and shot through with southern rock infused gospel, blues and country influences, topped by virtuoso playing. It’s an album that smoulders with intent and builds with subtly crafted layered sounds to finally ignite with big harmony vocals and sparkling band interplay.
Rosco’s Americana influences percolate and bubble up in unexpected places. ‘Howitzer Eyes’ for example, uses Allman Brothers style unison guitars to build towards a climactic solo, albeit with a sudden ending. He indulges himself with western themed imagery on ‘Redemption Call’ over a big tremolo figure and muted trumpet, while on both ‘When The Band Starts To Play’ and ‘Southern Belle’ he steals an intro from The Band before forging his own path.
The former is a slow burner, featuring an ascending guitar line, a layered sound and majestic bv’s, while the latter builds from a gentle acoustic intro to a Joe Cocker style gospel drenched rocker, to bookend a perfectly weighted album
With the exception of the puzzling ‘Look Out Moses’ – which finds a swaggering tempo change, topped and tailed by a Bo Diddley beat – Rosco’s songs ring out loud and clear. And it’s his ability to colour his narratives with some burning solos that makes ‘Get It While You Can’ an album worth retuning to on a regular basis.
This album is a step-up in terms of his song writing and a beefy production that emphasizes several uplifting moments and significant hooks. It has the feel of a song writer’s journal, rooted in a southern rock vibe that never loses sight of the importance of the lyrics.
The title track anchors the album by neatly balancing Rosco’s words and the band’s inspired playing. He also cleverly transforms the familiar themes of ‘a bottle’, ‘a woman’ and ‘a fight’, into a slide-led rocker, which segues into the contrasting acoustic and country tinged ‘My Gospel’, a song that again focuses on his descriptive ability.
He opens with the line: ‘I’m going back where the hills reach the sky’, on a live in the studio piece on which he encourages his fellow band members, guitarist Andy Hayes and keyboard player Lee Wilson to solo over David Tettmark’s brushed strokes, before adding a defining dobro solo himself over bv’s.
The album opens with the catchy riff of ‘Some Angels Fall’ and he soon slips into some heavy duty rock-a-boogie on the afore mentioned ‘Howitzer Eyes’, before exploring the mighty harmonies, slick horn arrangement and the repeated hook of ‘Back To The Banks’. It’s arguably Rosco at his best. A slinky and funky rhythm is topped by an impassioned vocal performance and a nicely distorted guitar break which he spontaneously announces himself.
It this combination of voice, band interplay and a live in the studio feel that gives the album the kind of undulating drive and dynamism so often lacking in contemporary music. Rosco’s songs are rooted in wholesome grooves that can only come from a real band and his narratives ache with sincerity and sometimes immerse you filmic possibilities.
Such is the strength of his song writing that his slightly nasal vocal soon finds its natural place in sparkling arrangements full of bristling harmonies and booming hooks. Everything comes together brilliantly on the funky ‘I Got My Own Plan’, on which he uses judiciously uses a processed voice on the hook to bring dynamic contrast to another sumptuous groove.
The Stones proved all those years ago that you can build your own Americana legacy, and Rosco Levee has the songs to fill his own canvas and establish himself as a latter day troubadour. He’s rockier than Gram Parsons would ever be, but more song focussed than say the Rival Sons, which is a roundabout way of saying Rosco Levee and the Southern Slide have their own thing going on, and ‘Get It While You Can’ nails it so well. ****
Here’s a review at at Zeitgeist - http://www.the-rocker.co.uk
ROSCO LEVEE & The Southern Slide
Get It While You Can
Red Train 2014
The debut album from Rosco Levee & The Southern Slide, “Final Approach To Home”, was one of the nicest surprises of 2012. It was a full on swamp rock, southern rock and blues delight, made all the more remarkable when you consider that Mr Levee is a singer songwriter and guitarist from Kent. And that’s Kent, England.
And I’m delighted to report that it wisnae a one off, as this one is just as good. Having been brought up on a diet of blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll by folks like Robert Johnson, Delaney Bramlett and Elvis, and bands such as The Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones and The Band, Mr Levee has channelled it into a sound that’s straight of my beloved southern rock seventies.
As before the band are steaming hot, with some added horn action in all the right places, the legally obligatory piano frills and backing vocals in place, and with songs like ‘Some Angels Fall’, ‘Gambling Man’ and ‘Whiskey Blues Goodnight’ sounding like long lost friends on first listen, it’s a pure delight..
It’s coming out in January, and I can tell you now, it’s going to be one of the best British rock albums you’ll hear all year.
ROSCO LEVEE & THE SOUTHERN SLIDE
Get It While You Can
RED TRAIN RECORDS
I had the pleasure of reviewing Rosco Levee's debut album 'Final Approach To Home' this time last year and enjoyed a fine album of Americana/Blues Rock by this young English band. Well, I'm pleased to report that this brand new album is every bit as good as, if not better than it's predecessor and sees the band taking some major strides forward.
The basis ofthe sound is still driven along by the excellent slide guitar & Hammond organ and still also draws it's inspiration from Stateside sources but there is a smoothness and sophistication added to the raw power of the debut.
It's all systems go from infectious opener 'Some Angels Fall' and there's barely a let up in the non-stop assault on an excellent British album sprinkled with liberal doses of Southern Rock & Blues. Get out and see them on tour early next year, you won't be disappointed. SW
Classic Rock - The Blues Magazine – Issue 10 Dec ‘13
Track on cover mount cd.
This taster from the Slide's forthcoming second album opens with an authentic lick of Delta blues bottleneck guitar, but young Rasco's no po-faced purist - he'd rather crank up his amps and get that party started! Whiskey Blues Goodnight marries Stonesy swagger to Zep heft with enough skill to suggest that this Levee's gonna break into the big time - certainly, when the dust settles in twelve months' time, this'll doubtless be one of our best albums of 2014.
Classic Rock - The Blues Magazine – Issue 10 Dec ‘13
The ever-growing pile of CDs on my desk tells me that 2014 is going to be just as thrilling for blues music. Case in point is Rosco Levee & The Southern Slide's Get It While You Can, an album so potent we sneaked a track onto our best of 2013 CD.
Blues rock is just about the hardest genre in which to attempt to try something novel and hope to get away with it. That's not to say that Rosco and his chums are breaking musical barriers here, but they certainly don't sound like the run of the mill tosh doled out by most blues combos. Rosco (real name Ross Wilson) is a discerning, concise guitarist, and he makes intelligent use of a corking horn section, twin lines, and a storming rhythm section to combine, blues, soul and pop in ways most of the competition can't match. And you'd swear he was from Louisiana -though the only Deep South he comes from is Kent.