Friday, March 8, 2013

Alvin Lee - Still on the Road to Freedom (2012 uk, classic rock)

"I decided to take the road to freedom rather than the road to fame and fortune"
Alvin Lee

Lee wrote all of the songs on the album, but he's quick to acknowledge influences from a varied group of artists and genres, from R’n’B icon Chuck Berry to ex-King Crimson drummer Ian Wallace. This isn't surprising, since TYA's music, although predominantly hard rock, had significant blues and jazz influences. 
Lee began writing songs for Still on the Road to Freedom in 2008. By the time he was ready to go into the studio, he had 33 potential tracks in hand. After wrestling unsuccessfully with trying to consider all of them, he finally isolated his favorites (a little less than half of the total) and worked them into "an entity in itself with a beginning, a middle and an end." 

And somehow, the mixture of arena rock, blues, bebop, country rock and folk does seem natural. Lee's guitar work, be it electric or acoustic, is as good as ever. His voice, never known for its "polish" (which is a good thing) is still natural and vibrant.

This is one of those relatively rare albums that is a good listen all the way through, with no need to skip tracks to hear the good ones. But, naturally, there are some I do like to go back to, like the percussion-driven "Listen to Your Radio Station," the catchy "Midnight Creeper," the instrumental "Down Line Rock" and "Love Like a Man 2" (a new version of a track originally on TYA's 1970 Cricklewood Green album.) 
Lee plays multiple instruments on the album, which he also recorded and mixed. Other band members include two longtime associates -- Pete Pritchard on bass and Richard Newman on drums -- and keyboardist Tim Hinkley. 

TYA (minus Lee) re-formed in 1988, but there are a lot of fans who are loyal to the original (1966-1974) lineup. If you're among them, you should put this album on your "get" list. If you're unfamiliar with either TYA or Alvin Lee, the album is a good listen just for the musicianship, and for the concept of creative freedom that drives it. 

You might also be able to relate to the philosophy that accompanies a painting by Lee that appears on the CD and in the liner: "There are many forks on the road to freedom and the road to nowhere is one of them." 
by Dave White

Although I don't usually post releases produced and recorded outside the golden era of Rock 'n' Roll (60's-70's) sometimes I make exceptions, this is one of these, dedicated to the memory of Alvin Lee, some forty years now (since I was in my early teen years) he's filling, my soul and my sentinmets, with his amazing guitar, his voice and his songs.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank you Very much Alvin Lee.
1. Still On The Road To Freedom - 4:23
2. Listen To Your Radio Station - 2:22
3. Midnight Creeper - 4:10
4. Save My Stuff - 4:02
5. I'm A Lucky Man - 3:27
6. Walk On, Walk Tall - 3:17
7. Blues Got Me So Bad - 2:09
8. Song Of The Red Rock Mountain - 2:04
9. Nice And Easy - 3:07
10. Back In 69 - 2:35
11. Down Line Rock - 2:29
12. Rock You - 1:32
13. Love Like A Man 2 - 6:52
All songs by Alvin Lee

*Alvin Lee - Bass, Drums, Guitars, Harmonica, Keyboards, Paintings, Vocals
*Trevor Morais - Drums
*Richard Newman - Drums
*Pete Pritchard - Bass, Double Bass
*Ed Spyra - Artwork
*Ian Wallace - Drums
*Alexander Wolfe - Keyboards
*Alvar Brune - Vocals
*Tim Hinkley - Keyboards

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  1. Thank you Alvin for all the music that you give to us.I always have a great time listen to it.Thanks...

  2. I once called him the fastest guitarist in the world. Probably because of the ultra-fast solos in "I'm Going Home" - a composition group Ten Years After, which is a group of fat Alvin Lee headed for her years. It was a little over forty years ago, so in an era in which many "musicians" well cut out the guitars - such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. And yet, despite the passage of so many years, you still - do you think the fastest - say Alvin Lee.

    Alvin Lee, playing music now as much as possible. Even a little experimenting, and with climates that had once too often, for various reasons, do not touch it. But most of all, it creates what he wants and how he wants. Without anyone's interference. This means the full release. About the dreams of so many artists, but unfortunately only some of them can afford it - just like Alvin Lee.

    Today,already anywhere does not have to hurry now. His latest work (unfortunately the last) "Still On The Road To Freedom", clearly refers to debut (his cover as well), let's say "solo", which was "On The Road To Freedom" (1973) - recorded with the former star of American rock Mylon LeFevre ' I. That album shines great music, but also a great all-star cast ( Mick Fleetwood, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Boz Burrell). Now in its continuation, starlight can be run, but stabilized at strong squad laced with experienced musicians and sound (such as the drummer Ian Wallace, or even keyboardist Tim Hinkley).

    The repertoire of the album, consisted of 13 compositions, plus the 14th hidden (very brief, instrumental, acoustic guitar). Free composition, nieszybkich, and completely out of focus. But, covered blues ("Save My Stuff", also charmingly primitive "Blues Got Me So Bad" and "Back In '69" - in this little Dylanowskim climate), r'n'rollem ("I'm A Lucky Man ', plus the instrumental "Down Line Rock"), psychedelic (beautiful ballad title), and sometimes even country-rock ("Walk On, Walk Tall," and even the "Nice & Easy" - kept in the style JJCale'a ), or a little remembering the old Ten Years After (even in "Listen To Your Radio Station" or through a continuation of the classic "Love Like A Man" - with the obligatory number on "2"), not running away from flirting with the funky rhythms ( in "Rock You").
    The entire plate ruled almost supreme base rock section, the guitars, bass and drums, which are often supported by installments organ and occasional harmonica installed on the lips of the master himself. All compositions are also committed itself Alvin Lee. And these are the things, rather to my sorrow - too short. For the shortest song lasts one and a half minutes, and the longest barely four and a half minutes.

    Also I'd be lying saying that the disc is not particularly enthused that seduced me. Absolutely not. It is not even a single pearl unfortunately made "The Bluest Blues", so the heart does not jump off the hinges. But all listened to with undisguised pleasure.

    Thx Marios!