Instead of being a long winded such and such as I can characteristically be, I am going to launch myself headlong into Richard Warren’s latest album “The Wayfarer”.
As soon as the album kicks off, I get a feel of the guitar stylings of Jeff Beck and Jeff Buckley, two quite astounding musicians. So to see the influences shining through on the first track “Rivington Street” really is a pleasant treat for the ears. The track slowly saunters its way through to your eardrums and does its level best to soothe and ease you into Richard Warren’s world. The end of the track trails off in a peculiar yet just way and makes way for the next track perfectly.
"The Lonesome Singer in the Apocalypse Band" is one of my favourite tracks on the album. I am a sucker for the Blues and I am especially an easy target for slide guitar. This song is short and sweet but it packs all that it can perfectly into the two minutes of its life. You can tell that Warren is a bonafide Blues scholar and the quality of his craft shines through here.
The title track of the album “The Wayfarer” is next and is just as much of a powerhouse as its predecessor, but for different reasons. This song drips with haunting atmosphere and a hint of soul pulsing through the beat. You can imagine such a song being utilised in a Sergio Leone epic, if one were to remade, let’s face it, it is just a matter of time before Hollywood remake every classic film. I digress. The musicality of this song is very satisfying.
“The Backslider” feeds off of the atmosphere of the last song but tones down the pace so it becomes a classic Blues dirge. This is not to the track’s detriment however, as connoisseurs such as myself can appreciate this snarling and biting tune very much and just showcases the talent of Richard Warren further to us all.
“Johnny Johhny” is heralded in by some good old fashioned harmonica and saunters nicely once again into an angry, brooding and mean Blues track however, it does deviate from the as there is some pretty sweet lead guitar work making the track just that little bit more unique or special.
Johnny Cash et al would definitely be proud of the effort that Warren produces in “Through The Fire”. Whether the resemblance was intentional or not, you cannot deny that there is a hint of the great man behind this song and it is a very sweet track at that. It is amongst my favourites on the album for the fact that it is not something I usually go for, but it is oddly enchanting.
This sentiment is passed on in “Wasteland” but is mixed a bit of that magic one would find in a Simon and Garfunkel serenade. I am also picking up a hint of Ennio Moricone. It is a pleasant song and supports the rest of the album with ease.
I find “The Willow” very curious indeed. It is definitely a dirty Blues track with a mean baritone vocal ripping its way through the heart of it. I cannot help but continue to be impressed with what Richard Warren is doing in the album. He is working the genre as good as I have seen it worked since Jack White.
It is with regret that the end of the album must come but at least it ends with “My Heart (Ragged and Broken)” which is a perfect conclusion to conclude this group of songs. It is excellent produced to sound like an old LP ringing out in a seedy saloon on a beat up old vinyl player. It characeterises the musicality of the album and the ambience it has conveyed perfectly. My summary is short and sweet; one of the best albums of 2011, if not for a few years. Listen now.