ROADWORKS - German CD Review by Epi Schmidt

 31.08.2005 Home-Of-Rock Magazine

English Translation by Dave and Brigitte



So let's have a look at this subject matter once again. I was quite excited about the current TYA line up, and what I have seen and heard from this new band line up. Actually they really impressed me once again when I saw them at the "Würth" Open Air Festival this Summer, although the sound was not 100% perfect (the guitar was too quiet and not near loud enough for my taste).

With "Roadworks" - it reminds me of the Cricklewood Green song "Working On The Road" - the band released their first "real live album". Although there was a previous album released called "One Night Jammed" but this effort was more like a quick effort in order to present their new guitarist and singer Joe Gooch to the audience.
Everyone who has seen the band perform live on stage in the last few years knows that they are really into the music they play and love what they're doing, that no one would have ever expected. With Ric Lee on the drums and Leo Lyons on the bass, the group / band offers one of the best rhythm sections in the area of Blues Rock.
Chick Churchill and Joe Gooch are able to join in or fall back at will, with little effort involved.
A good example of this interaction is on the song "King Of The Blues" with its Texas-Shuffle originally from their previous album called "NOW". Joe and Chick are able to take off in a splendid and magnificent way. The sound is much better than on "One Night Jammed".
It's another positive experience that Joe Gooch's vocals are much more of a raw nature, and it fits in much better with the style of Ten Years After. The lead / solo passages are unique and first class.

My Goodness, when Joe starts letting loose, the stage is on fire, and this directly stimulates his band mates so much, that you can witness it for yourself.

Whether Chick Churchill is fireing off some quick piano runs, or Leo Lyons is involved in a very intense bass and lead guitar duel with Joe Gooch, it's all highly motivated and high energy. It's incredible what Leo does on his bass guitar.

"When It All Falls Down" is one of my favorite numbers on the "NOW" cd, and when it's performed live on stage, it's even better. It's really enjoyable to listen to Chick and Joe jamming together on the driving rock rhythm of this song.

Of course "Working On The Road" is included on this new live cd, and the audience or cd listeners are happy to hear the gallopping song once again. This song would be a great opener for this album.
Of course Joe's playing contains a lot of the well known Trademark- Licks and Riffs from Alvin Lee, but neither Joe nor we can ignore this fact as they belong to the legend of TEN YEARS AFTER. It's important to point out that Joe doesn't copy, because he's too talented and has his own ideas.
Ric's drum solo Hobbit is an amazing piece of music. Normally I don't care much for drum solos in general, and also less for them on cd, but Ric Lee's playing keeps my attention. Hats off to Mr. Lee. I can't help myself, but this cd is very enjoyable, and after the rock and roll number "Living It Up" I am looking forward to hearing the second cd in this set.
The first song on the second cd is "Love Like A Man" which keeps the musical pot boiling along. For sure you get more solos until the cd player is shimmering with sparks. On their last tour they introduced a new number with accoustic guitar, "I'd Love To Change The World". The song starts out a little bit folk style, but soon turns into a real guitar eruption, where Joe shines once again.
Another pair of songs from their last studio album are "Time To Kill" and "Reasons Why". With regards to the first song, the intro reminds me of NAZARETH. Their member Manny Charlton was good at starting songs in the same manner with feedback. It seems that they have gotten away from their blues roots but the solos are what the audience enjoys and keeps them interested.
After "I Can't Keep From Crying" which last just over fifteen minutes, and begins and ends with a soulful bluesy riff, the atmosphere is on fire once again.
Joe Gooch offers up some riffs from his jazz bag and when the band is really cooking they quote numerous musical colleagues in a competent and qualified way, like CREAM, to HENDRIX, to AEROSMITH, and DEEP PURPLE, and because the riffs are brief, they're enjoyable and the band refrains from any self gradification in this area. Of course the song "I'm Going Home" is never far away and is coming up next.
As an encore they played one of their new songs, instead of one of their classic numbers as many would have expected. This truly shows self confidence along with self reliance, Actually, this song is perfect to end the show with, because it turns up the power once again, in order to drive the not so young ? audience into a new euphoria. Their request for Choo-Choo Mama, is acknowledged by the band as they start again on full throttle and heart pumping. If you are a Rory Gallagher fan and you like his version of "Messin' With The Kid" then "Choo Choo Mama" is in the same vain.
I honestly like "Roadworks" very much, not only the songs but the interpretation and also the emotions that can only be found from a live concert.
Critical points? Well, maybe the beginning of "Hear Me Calling" seems to be a little lax, and I prefer the Woodstock version of "I'm Going Home" but other than that their new cd rocks and is the best enjoyment, if you like blues-rock with long guitar solos.


Chick Churchill - Joe Gooch -
Ric Lee - Leo Lyons

Cover Design by Leo Lyons


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