Maverick Magazine CD Reviews
A couple of albums with a sound that blends both traditional and contemporary styles of country music with blues and rock’n’roll
Sergio Webb has been an underrated journeyman musician for hire for years. He has toured the UK accompanying Pinto Bennett, David Olney, Gail Davies and many others and works tirelessly from his Nashville base on call to those singers who possess musical integrity—in short the guy’s something of a ‘maverick’—so don’t expect to see him on stage accompanying the likes of Faith, Taylor or Carrie. BOLIVAR BLUES was recorded in the small, boutique Little Chickadee Studio in Nashville and Sergio—who plays guitar, banjo and ukulele—is accompanied by Welsh-born Rob Price (bass, percussion, harmony vocals), Bruce Baxter (accordion), Teddy Jones (fiddle), David Olney (harmonica), Fran Breen (drums, percussion), Chris Scruggs (steel) and Gail Davies (harmony vocals).
In its directness and simple arrangements BOLIVAR BLUES recalls early Steve Earle as well as the songs and performances of such troubadours as John Prine or Steve Goodman. But Sergio Webb is an original, and on tuneful songs like In the Time and Treeline his rough-hewn voice is as evocative as the words that spill out in his soulful delivery. He also includes neat renditions of Dave Davies’ Death of a Clown, Pinto Bennett’s One Bar Town and Fred Neil’s reflective The Other Side of This Life. Winnemucca … Slight Return has a bit more edge, thanks to a slyly subdued electric guitar and bluesy harmonica accompaniment, but it is no less pleasing, and the last track, the instrumental doodling The Drake offers just the right touch of melancholy to close the CD.
POET, SOLDIER, WISE MAN, KING finds Sergio teaming up with fellow Nashville ‘mavericks’ Jonathan Singleton, Bruce Wallace and Rags (Teddy Jones) in a kind of Americana, country-rock outfit very much in the tradition of the Highwaymen, Travelling Wilburys and CSN&Y. Singleton, who co-wrote the chart-topping country hits Watching Airplanes (Gary Allan) and Don’t (Billy Currington) has recently signed to Universal South. There’s scant information on the CD cover, so I’ve no idea who’s singing lead on each of the dozen songs, but the chemistry between these talented guys is unfaltering and amazingly the whole project was put together in a one-day session. Fans of upbeat country-lenient Americana should definitely give this album a listen. Wine & Roses is an excellent mix of country/southern rock and should be on any country fans radar. Black & Green features a great country-rock mix with strong lead vocals and harmonies that are perfectly unified bringing together the feeling of this country-rock song. There is an excellent guitar solo on Swept Away while Tennessee highlights a strong, melodic guitar, steeped with flowing riffs. When The Smoke Clears is a bluesy track featuring soulful vocal work, a classic blues arrangement, and more great lyrics.
The many styles presented on this album are performed with skill and authenticity with well-crafted writing, spirited musical performances, and clever arrangements. The production is clean and professional, providing a recording that is ready for widespread acceptance and mainstream radio.
Preview songs from New Album “BOLIVAR BLUES” Here: http://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/1910316