There are a couple of surprise albums that came under my radar recently.
The first is Chas and Dave's latest and it is called, "That's What Happens". For those who thought C&D were a cockney sparrer novelty band, think again. This is music from two musicians whose musical integrity and delivery put them in in the category marked enduring" The album is a keeper. There are plenty of reviews elsewhere, so go check them out.
Another Dave - this time, Dave Clemo. Dave has been on the scene since the days of vinyl, and for all I know, wax cylinders. There is a truism, called something like the "10,000 hour rule" which states that it takes about 10,000 hours to become good at anything. I'm pretty certain Dave has done his 10,000 hours. It is the art of making good music without you noticing. Hard Times is not Clemo's first album by any means, but it represents an artist at the top of his game.
To describe the style will limit it, but that is the lot of a reviewer. I can tell you what comes to mind; Van Morrison, Eddie Spaghetti, Lonnie Donegan, The Pretty Things and there are echoes of the Fabs and Johnny Cash. (Dave also does an uncanny cover of the Cash song, Ring of Fire on another album called "Other People's Greatest Hits"). Dave Plays mandolin bass and a selection of other guitars. His son Chris sits in on percussion. The production values are excellent.
Hard Times is the kind of logical artistic progression of an artisan who has listened and learned and synthesised. And by synthesised, I mean artistically, not electronically - this album is cruelty-free, fairly traded and unplugged.
Picking out tracks that I like is not going to do much for another listener, but you can preview them on the various platforms. I would grab the Skiffle gem, I Fought the Battle, Any Road with its easy, mesmeric lick and the the ultra cool Glide, if I could only pick three, but there isn't a duff track in 42 minutes.
And for some previews and where to buy