Music Matters - with John Murray

John Murray
John Murray

The acoustic perfection is clear on just one listen yet who are State Of The Union?

Turns out we know these guys as US Blues guitarist Brooks Williams and songwriting genius Boo Hewerdine who has written or performed for everyone like Marti Pellow, Suggs, kd Lang, Emma B, Mel C, Eddi Reader and Natalie Imbruglia.

Together just two boys and their guitars come over like they are in the room with you as they create a warming Americana feel to ten new compositions and Pet Shop Boys’ Rent which surprisingly lends itself to the arrangement.

The traditional ‘Pig And Awl’ has an old familiar tune while the instrumental title track sounds like it was adapted from the old Mississippi delta strumming along while waiting on the riverboat. ‘23 Skidoo’ is new too but sounds it came from a long time ago, a rare skill where the song is already in the mind and you join in before the end of its first play. Currently on tour the nearest date is the Voodoo rooms Edinburgh on April 24th.

A full 40 years after Dunfermline born and Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson released Thick As A Brick as the definitive indulgent concept album, a sequel becomes available this week.

Thick As A Brick 2 (Chrysalis), retains the original concept of small town England and music fans of a certain age will remember the original vinyl in the form of a local newspaper.

As Ian himself has prospered in the ensuing years so too has his hero from the original album.

Retaining many of the meticulous meandering Prog Rock trademarks of the day with electric guitar, flute and Hammond organ the new work diminishes none of the Tull expectations. The retail pack contains the audio CD plus a DVD with 5.1 Surround Mix and 24-bit Stereo Mix along with lyric readings on location, PDFs of web pages, vision interviews with musicians about the project.

The what-ifs, maybes and might-have-beens of the central character of 1972 is a fascinating project.