Gods & Highways & Old Guitars
That the sturdy blues/rock/Americana sound of London area band Roadhouse travels has been evidenced time and time again by the international airplay that the ensemble garners with each successive album release. Thus far this new set seems to be gathering traditional attention and then some.
When a new album is released it is always interesting to the Roadhouse follower because Boner tends to put compositions into the set list as they are readied. Therefore familiar songs are mixed with material one has not heard.
Highlights of this record – the emphatic title cut ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ with fine Mandy G reading of the lyric against a prairie chug; the Who-like chordal intro and film noir lyric of ‘Katrina’. As ever Boner’s lyrical writing reeks of vintage Robert Mitcham and Lee Marvin films and this is a key element in his muse, not to mention supportive factor in his vocal delivery. Probably more than other recent releases this album plays up the gritty male/sweet female contrast. The guitar runs here are a curious mix of fluidity and stutter, with the chorus having more than a tinge of middle period Fleetwood Mac.
‘Slow Down’ is a nimble boogie with Sarah sounding confident and the rhythm section sharp as a tack. Mandy G sings ‘Blues Motel’ as only she can, bringing a mixture of world weariness and pure soul against a lively guitar arrangement. Closer ‘Sinner’ has a tinge of The Band in its dark-cloud setting moving into a fleet axe weave and a precise vocal arrangement, that GB ache present and correct. He does sound as though he has much to get off his chest.
And so Roadhouse fly the flag for punchy music with sophisticated elements and long may they continue to deliver.