Spin Doctors, “Songs From The Road” (Ruf 1212) The latest audiovisual package in Ruf’s excellent “Songs From The Road” series focusses attention on the Spin Doctors’ gig at Bonn’s Harmonie club in October 2013. The bluesy New York rockers have tended to fade from the limelight since their creative heyday in the early nineties but the band are in surprisingly fine fettle here as they celebrate the delights of their illustrious back catalogue with a heavily improvised set featuring perennial crowdpleasers such as “Two Princes, “ “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.”
Royal Southern Brotherhood, “Don’t Look Back” (Ruf 1215) The departure of guitar duo Devon Allman and Mike Zito could easily have dealt a fatal body blow to RSB’s hopes of continuing success, but on the evidence presented by “Don’t Look Back” the future still looks reasonably bright for this stylish southern rock outfit. New recruits Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan acquit themselves admirably as the revamped RSB lineup serve up their latest tasty menu of blues, rock, funk and soul for your listening pleasure , peaking with the two opening tracks, “I Wanna Be Free” and “Reach My Goal.”
They Might Be Giants, “Glean” (Idlewild Recordings) John Flansburgh and John Linnell have been delighting their discerning coterie of devotees with their quirkily memorable approach to musicmaking since the early eighties, and they recently hit upon the bright idea of reviving their “DialASong” service, which makes a new song and accompanying music video available to punters each week via their website . The venture appears to have been an unqualified success , and “Glean” brings together the best of their 2015 output, including alternative rock gems such as “Answer, “ “Erase” and the piano led “Madam, I Challenge You to a Duel.”
Jackie Lomax, “Rare, Unreleased and Live, 19652012” (Angel Air Records) Wallasey born Lomax represents the classic case of a gifted performer who, for reasons often beyond his control, was never really able to fulfil his potential despite being acclaimed as a blue eyed soulman of the highest order. This splendid anthology of the vocalist’s work draws on hitherto unreleased recordings made between 1965 and Jackie’s untimely death in 2012, including the mellow Merseysider’s favourite concert, a particularly appealing live set which was captured for posterity at the Savoy in San Francisco in December 1976.