Once you hear a voice from a distinctive hit you never forget it. People like Mick Hucknall and Paul Carrack have lent their chords to many a song over the decades and once heard always remembered – unless it’s the pub quiz that is. On hearing the fifth solo album from Peter Cox I sensed a quality in vocals transcending the years. He is the front man from Go West of course and as early as 1985 We Close Our Eyes would be etched in pop history. Then came The King Of Wishful Thinking from the opening scenes of the Pretty Woman movie and that voice again. So this new album Riding the Blinds (Dream Theatre), is already interesting and from the opening rocker Missing You its so current too. Using some of the hottest Nashville writers behind Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins and Brad Paisley these new Country songs have the full transatlantic Americana feel so much in vogue. Meantime Go West still play at Rewind festivals.
Al Hughes has the voice that inherits the blues. When he fronts Light Out By Nine he sings R&B the way it should be and usually with a hot brass section the way it used to be. On his solo records though he becomes the consummate performer stripped back to voice, guitar and occasional harmonica he becomes an original like the legends of the past. His latest release Dancing In the Minefield (Vaudioville), is completely solo with tracks like Giving The Blues A Try and Back To The Blues as defining as it gets with a distorted riff and hint of harmonica. John Fahey’s Visit To Markinch sounds like it could have been a set of reels but is in fact a reflective appreciation of the late steel guitarist without words. 7 Black Roses too is a raw stripped back steel guitar requiem for John Martyn while Hurts Me Too brings out his tasteful slide guitar. See Al perform the new songs from the CD and some old favourites live tonight (Thursday) at the Acoustic Music Club in the Polish Club Forth Park Drive.