Once I had a call from the leader of a big band I was in to get my butt over to Hounslow the next day – a Sunday afternoon – to play at a festival. To my delight I found we were on before the headliner – Mr Lonnie Donegan. Hence I had a cuppa and chat about the blues with the early rock’n’roll star. Pleasing it is that his talented son Peter is recording and here is his new mini-album.
All the songs are written and arranged by Peter who plays mainly acoustic guitar. Many associates feature and the recordings were completed, recorded and engineered by Kyle Hershman, out in Nashville. The slant is decidedly Country.. well, he was raised in Lake Tahoe area despite being born in London; the mix is by Nashville’s Mills Logan who has credits for Joe Walsh, Toby Keith, Rascall Flatts, Travis Tritt and many more.
Superman the title cut rides in on steady acoustic guitars and Donegan’s melodic and distinctive voice tells the tale. Very American – ‘fly’ becomes ‘flah’ ! The dobro glides in and out. As Nashville a sound as you could capture, catchy chorus and all. The electric slide solo is well executed. Something in the vocal is rather Keith Urban and you could hear the Aussie star singing this number.
I’m Yours is a reflective piece and the Hammond adds to the dusky ambience. There’s a reference to a Van Morrison song in the lyrics. The sort of melody that the master Leo Sayer excels in. A tremelo’d guitar in the mix is clear but not close or overpowering ; Ode To A Friend takes a more intimate story-telling path, backing held back. The mood here is optimistic and delivery just impassioned enough to make it work. The full band arrival does not throw the tune off course. The melody is pure Corrs and that’s no complaint.
Little Man is contemplating stuff. Peter sounds sincere and the mandolin – probably him – is a beautiful touch. A decent if sentimental song about parenthood and well sung. The set ends with Shakin’ has a soft-rock tempo and tumbling guitars weaving over the steady bass drum. Things liven up @ the minute-mark. If you like Eric Church, try this….
A tuneful set of songs, professionally delivered and well-sung. Not the remotest trace of any Irish or English elements to any of the songs, it’s all Nashville in its melodies, instrumentation, production, mixing. But as good as anything from there, it must be said.
(Thank you, Dave – trust The Guitar Man)
Peter Donegan’s new album ‘Superman’ is out now.
For artist info and tour dates, walk over to www.peterdonegan.com