The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member and world-renowned Nashville-based keyboardist REESE WYNANS will release his first-ever solo album “Sweet Release” on March 1st via Provogue/Mascot Label Group. It’s a collection of songs honouring a paramount selection of blues-rock legends. The long-awaited album comes after a career spanning fifty years and, literally, hundreds of collaborations.
“Sweet Release” also serves as Joe Bonamassa’s inaugural credit as a producer. Bonamassa has long been a fan of Wynans’ work, urging him to create a solo album and championing the project as producer.
We had a listen:
“Say What” is the second Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble number found on the LP. And, of course, Reese played on the original [Soul to Soul 1985]. Here it’s a sleazy, wah-wah pedalling squelch-fest with slathers of B-3 key-slides flannel-wiped across the rhythmic spices and wavers. This number bubbles, baby. With guitar by Kenny Wayne Shepherd and featuring Chris Layton [drums] & Tommy Shannon [bass ]
“You’re Killing My Love ” feat. Doyle Bramhall II, and with Connecticut guitarist Josh Smith has folds of colourful keys that fly loose over the chattering rhythms and licorice bass. The guitar-work here is garrulous and sparkles with electricity but it’s the liberally smeared organ that really provides the gummy pulling-force of the stimulating number.
The star-studded title track, “Sweet Release” feat. Keb’ Mo’ with Mike Farris, Jimmy Hall, Bonnie Bramlett, Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, Paulie Cerra, Joe Bonamassa & Josh Smith is a remarkably nostalgic salvation song, conveyed in golden tones, and, perhaps, it can only be properly appreciated by someone who has already arrived at their autumn-years. This beautifully progressing number has sublime instrumental backing.
“Hard To Be” is a chortling and articulate rock ‘n’ roller with fat-horns and vocals from Bonnie Bramlett as well as Wet Willie singer Jimmy Hall. This number provides Reese the chance to tinkle the hony-tonk way. And with the other guests, including Joe Bonamassa, Josh Smith and Jack Pearson this really grooves.
A rarer song, “I’ve Got A Right To Be Blue” with four-time Grammy Award winner Keb’ Mo’ evokes working the dusty juke joints and street corners in the late 1930s, on the road between Memphis and Helena. This was when men like Robert Johnson seduced the women of the town with their introspective, rural blues, always offered freely, but with a flash of the cap and a cheeky wink of the eye. This number preserves the innocence and brave pragmatism of those monochrome times.
The first single from the album “Crossfire” is an impressive tribute to the legacy of Stevie Ray Vaughan who, with Wynans, recorded with Double Trouble. It sounds as close as you can get to the original [not surprising really, since, Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon and Reese all play on this like they did on the original, 1989 ] which also boasted Bill Carter and his partner, Ruth Ellsworth. On this version we have vocals by the one-and-only Sam Moore. The number sums up the entire album perfectly: a treasury of blues, rock and jazz catalogued by a stunning musician, who has given a lifetime of joy, and the songs are delivered by his friends who just happen to be the best-known and finest miracle-performers in the world of music.
What a life, what a buzz … what a collection!
Words: @neilmach 2019 ©