British slide guitarist, composer and producer TROY REDFERN releases his album “…the Fire Cosmic!” on Friday August 6th via RED7 Records.
For the album, Troy recruited what he has described as “the ultimate dream team” that includes Darby Todd on drums (The Darkness, Robben Ford), Dave Marks on bass (Hans Zimmer), and also guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (Guns ‘N Roses, Asia).
The album was recorded at the legendary Rockﬁeld Studios in North Wales, the same studio where Queen recorded their early albums.
“It was important for me to capture the raw energy…”
“The studio is hallowed ground for every musician,” says Troy. “And the rooms there are charged with so much magic and history of all the iconic, classic albums that have been produced...”
“It was important for me to capture the raw energy of three guys playing live in the same place, at the same time. That’s something that you just can’t get if you’re sending ﬁles from different locations, it doesn’t have the same vibe or feel if you do it that way.”
For production, Troy enrolled ‘Win’ Winstanley, (Rag’n’Bone Man, senior lecturer at the BIMM Institute in Brighton) who is perhaps best known for his epic rock production style, and whom Troy met and previously worked with on the 2019 Redfern, Hutchinson & Ross album, “Hotel Toledo.” Troy and Win instantly bonded, and found they shared the same musical taste, the same diligence and same no-nonsense disposition. Rockfield’s vintage microphones, mixing desk, and analogs provided Win options for capturing dynamic album performances . “It was like being a kid in a candy store,” he says.
“It was important for the album to sound massive,” Troy adds. “It was a much bigger sound than anything that I’ve released before […] We knew we captured something special. It sounded fantastic…”
We had an early listen —
The short ‘n’ zippy “Scorpio” thunders straight off the grid like a burning hot-rod that’s been over-pumped with nitrous oxide. It has a vibrant, shimmying beat, pillowy vintage-bass pulsations and a slightly frayed, semi-scorched vocal.
Troy takes full strategic, mechanical advantage of his old 1929 National Triolian guitar on the track “Waiting For Your Love.” This is a broody muse with expressive wails and a lumbering beat that channels the champing anticipation of the lyric.
“One Way Ticket” smells hot and lazy, like a slimy street-punk littering the front porch of a five and dime on a muggy day. Not only is this song steamy and sweaty, it also delivers an upbeat, bouncy chorus while the slide-guitar zips ahead of the verse, to swirl around like a demon-possessed bumblebee.
While the Western-style number “Ghost” builds gradually, and has skillfully laminated acoustic tones and a spectacular chorus.
The boogie-blues number “Waiting For Your Love” creaks like the lid of a rusty jerrycan and feels deep, dark, and dangerous…
If you can imagine the agility of Elmore James, the knack of Noël Akchoté and the unpolished nubbiness of Mississippi Fred McDowell, you will be close to grasping the nature of these tousled yet monumentally distinctive numbers. This album is filled with radiance and weather-worn splendor!
Words: @neilmach 2021 ©
Main image: Rob Blackham