Thursday, March 7, 2013

Alvin Lee And Mylon Lefevre - On The Road To Freedom (1973-74 uk/us, stimulating soothing guitar rock with country folk tinges)

‘Freedom is a heady wine’, they say, and guitar hero Alvin Lee certainly tasted plenty when he teamed up with American singer Mylon LeFevre to create this excellent 1974 album.

Alvin had spent many years performing heavy rock’n’roll with Ten Years After before he took the plunge and headed in a more soulful musical direction. With Mylon taking lead vocals on some of the tracks and writing fresh material, the album has a different, more relaxed feel that coaxed new sounds out of Alvin. He was also encouraged by a plethora of guest stars, notably Stevie Winwood on piano, Jim Capaldi on drums and Tim Hinkley on organ. There is even an appearance by one ‘Hari Georgeson’ who seems to perform George Harrison’s ‘So Sad (No Love Of His Own)’ with special feeling!….

This 12 track album is boosted by the inclusion of an extra bonus A-side single version of ‘So Sad’, and it also has comprehensive CD liner notes by Chris Welch, detailing the evolution of the album and Alvin’s blossoming solo career.

Guitar hero Alvin Lee headed in a more soulful musical direction on this 1974 album, with Mylon taking lead vocals on some of the tracks and writing fresh material. The album has a different, more relaxed feel that coaxed new sounds out of Alvin.

Features a stellar line up of guest musicians, including Stevie Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Tim Hinkley, Ron Wood with special guest appearance by George Harrison.
1. On The Road To Freedom (Alvin Lee) - 4:13
2. The World Is Changing (I Got A Woman Back In Georgia) (Lee, Mylon Lefevre) - 2:45
3. So Sad (No Love Of His Own) (George Harrison) - 4:34
4. Fallen Angel (Lee) - 3:20
5. Funny (Lee) - 2:48
6. We Will Shine (Lefevre) - 2:37
7. Carry My Load (Lee) - 2:58
8. Lay Me Back (Lefevre) - 2:53
9. Let 'Em Say What They Will (Ron Wood) - 2:52
10.I Can't Take It (Lefevre) - 2:51
11.Riffin' (Lee, Lefevre) - 3:31
12.Rockin' 'Til The Sun Goes Down (Lee, Lefevre) - 3:08
13.So Sad (No Love Of His Own) (Single Version) (George Harrison) - 3:00

*Alvin Lee – Vocals, Electric And Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Sitar
*Mylon Lefevre – Vocals, 12-String Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Backing Vocals
*George Harrison – Dobro, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
*Ron Wood – 12-String Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums
*Steve Winwood – Piano
*Tim Hinkley – Piano, Organ, Backing Vocals
*Boz Burrell – Bass, Backing Vocals
*Bob Black – Steel Guitar
*Andy Stein – Fiddle
*Jim Capaldi – Drums
*Reebop Kwaku Baah – Congas
*Mick Fleetwood – Drums
*Ian Wallace – Drums
*Mike Patto – Percussion, Backing Vocals

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  1. It was a sad day to me ,when I read that Alvin Lee is no longer with us.TYA with Alvin is one of my favourite group's ever...

  2. Alvin Lee is an exciting guitarist, blessed with nimble fingers, a fantastic turn of speed and a passion for the blues. As a performer, he ranks in popularity with the other great guitar heroes of the golden rock era, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Jimmy Page. His style is simpler and more direct than many of his peers, but there is no doubting his consummate ability.

    That's when he recorded 'On The Road To Freedom' with Mylon LeFevre. He also drew upon the services of his good friend and neighbour, former Beatle, the late George Harrison, who wrote and performed on the track 'So Sad (No Love Of His Own)'. George was a great admirer of Alvin's guitar playing and enjoying visiting the latter's home studio. The pair became good friends, although there was no attempt to overplay George's presence on the album... He mourned the death of George Harrison in November 2001 and is proud that George's song, 'So Sad (No Love Of His Own)', is part of an album that recalls the carefree days of rock'n'roll fun - and freedom.

    Alvin invited many other like-minded musical mates to take part in the sessions. For example, the core members of Traffic - Steve Winwood (piano), Rebop (congas) and Jim Capaldi (drums) - appear in various combinations on several songs, playing on the title track and also on 'Fallen Angel', 'We Will Shine' and 'I Can't Take It'. Many a jam session stalwart turned up to enjoy the fun, including guitarist Ron Wood of the Faces and Rolling Stones fame. Ron and Alvin were joined by Mick Fleetwood and Ian Wallace (drums), Boz Burrell (bass), Mike Patto (vocals) and Tim Hinkley (keyboards) - all veterans of Fleetwood Mac, Patto and King Crimson. It would be hard to keep this lot away from (a) the bar and (b) a studio full of musical instruments. Mylon provided lead vocals on most of the tracks and wrote or cowrote half a dozen tunes with Alvin.

  3. Well, this album stiffed - and fast! It was in the remainder bins within a couple of months. Columbia was slightly panic'd, and very quickly "new" TYA product was forthcoming. I find most of this record disposable myself - there are a few exceptions.