MIKE BOWDEN & THE A 917
TIMEPIECES
Epona Records


The new release from Mike Bowden and band is an odyssey of their work to date, including tunes he played with The Blue Swamp Band. They have had changes to the band and are back with a vengeance. Mike is still the lead singer and guitarist, but he also has Emily Murray on backing vocals ,which gives an added depth of melody. Always upbeat yet with mellow tones throughout, this is a thirteen-track mixture of styles but rooted in blues. It takes them out of their comfort zone and sees them evolving. It’s Mike’s delivery of the subtle and witty lyrics that is the basis to such tunes as, Harder To Climb, Neighbour Of The Beast and Madman’s Dance. Big Vern is still on percussion throughout and links in well with guitarist John Hall and bass man Shaun Walker adding rhythm. Perfect Blues encapsulates the mellow dreamy blues feel, a real highlight. This is a blues soundtrack to the summer. Higher Than Eagles has a slick rootsy tone. Sooth Me, slows the pace, well delivered showcasing a full band sound. Frightened Man is rocky with some excellent keyboard playing from Martin Rhydderch, this song showcases the band’s dynamics. Breathe is a departure for them, quite experimental in chord structure, very interesting. Walking A Fine Line has jazzy tones with clever lyrics. Introduction To The Sky has a real flow to it, steady beat, slow blues tones with a twist. Something for any music lover on this excellent release.

COLIN CAMPBELL