The internationally acclaimed Brighton (UK) based blues-rock & soul guitarist, BEN POOLE, released his new studio album “Anytime You Need Me” on Friday 14th September via Manhaton Records.
An impressive talent on the thriving U.K. blues scene, Ben’s invigorating natural ability sets him apart from other young artists. We described his (2016) album: “Time Has Come” — recorded at Nottingham’s Superfly Studios (with producer Wayne Proctor, King King) as “Relaxed, easy-going and full of charm… with under-stated numbers brought to life by a modest genius…”
The new album is a melting pot of rock, blues and soul, but with a pop feeling that’s easily accessible. The sound demonstrates lots of guts, grit and a swagger — with special emphasis on guitar tones and instrumental performances — but it’s also soulful and touching too.
About the new recording, Ben says: “We basically locked ourselves away regularly over a period of around six months at a studio in the hills of North Wales writing and demoing the majority of the tunes on this album from scratch...”
“It’s the first time I’ve worked in this way and, though it was challenging to force myself to conjure a creative mind-set on cue when in a room with two other songwriters whom I’d never written with before, I think the results are really rewarding. I’m extremely proud of this album. This is who I am...”
We had a listen:
There are positive messages on “Anytime You Need Me” with its intrepid and tireless riff and chunky-chunka rhythms. The voice is blue smoothie (think Smooth Criminal) and it’s on the puissant side of effete and staccato — but that’s a good thing because this number is so hot and catchy. And, anyway, it’s the effervescent & squishy, slip/slop/splash of guitar during the final third that will really get you to sit up and take note.
Rougher and more energetic is “Take It No More” with coarse-grained, slimy keys and the kind of slinky stomp that reminds us of a side-walk prowling, splendidly horny sexcat. Naturally, the guitar is resplendent … striking in its determination and dazzling away the painful sadness (of the lyric) to show some stout-hearted indifference.
The superb vocal melody on the country-blues number “You Could Say” is supported by strong rhythms that, although sumptuous, are never intrusive . The number is a hot pot-butter confection of joy and sweetness. With gurgle-guitar, velvety organ and cream-ivory voice.
Cool 1970s sounding “Further On Down The Line” is like accidentally coming across Savoy Brown meeting Humble Pie under a Voodoo Moon to work on some Jelly Roll Morton numbers. In other words: this has dirty fuzz, sexy fizz and electric floss.
There’s also a cover of American singer-songwriter Jude Cole’s Mellencampish “Start the Car” with that familiar boogie bump that probably got you humpin’ back in the disco daze (if you go back that far…)
For lovers of boogie-blues and R&B flavoured rock. Superior stuff. For fans of Love Sculpture and Little Feat.
Words: @neilmach 2018 ©
Main picture: © Adam Kennedy
“Anytime You Need Me” was recorded at Superfly Studios in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire and produced by Wayne Proctor. To celebrate the release of his album Ben will embark on a 14-date UK tour in November and December 2018. Tickets for all concerts can be booked from http://benpooleband.com/live