Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Josh Bray – Whisky and Wool

With its distinctly 70’s country / folk feel Devon born Josh Bray’s debut album invokes warm and hazy summer’s evenings, his simple guitar picking seemingly as effortless as a butterfly on the breeze. Ahhhh yes, it’s one of those albums that sends me all poetical again. Shot through with the spirits of Nick Drake and James Taylor it’s an easy album to get into and, like many current folk releases, there’s something reassuringly familiar about most of the tracks on offer. If that sounds like damning with faint praise it ain’t meant to. In fact it’s a sign of the quality of the material, playing and production that this release could sit pretty comfortably alongside other ‘classic’ albums of the country rock/folk genre.

Whilst the high standards never really slip there are one or two tracks that really stand out. ‘Hard Living’s’ probably the most country tinged song...and it’s a bit of a rocker too when it kicks in. There’s a touch of Lynyrd Skynyrd about it, making a nice break from the more chilled out folk feel of much of the rest of the album. ‘Indian Gin’, another track with more of a country rock feel, is the other highlight, its reversed guitar effect lending it a bit of a woozy psychedelic quality that adds an extra dimension to Bray’s musical palate. Like both ‘whisky’ and ‘wool' this is one album that leaves you with a nice warm glow all over.

Whiskey and Wool is out on 7th March on NewTide Records.

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