Ruben V


It isn’t long listening to this set before you happily concede that this cat can sing AND play and has a nice line in crisp crafted material. The cuts are built around confident vocals and to-the-point guitar work. Opener ‘What You Do To Me’ has more of a Santana sound color. Then ‘Reach For You’ is almost as good, a strong vocal that just makes you want to sing along and a definite tinge of classic Motown – this song would have made a great vehicle for the late Edwin Starr! ‘Breathe’ is a more tender piece and then ‘Waiting On The Light’ shares many of the same flavors of the opener with good effect. ‘Angel of Mercy’ is set at a galloping tempo with a hint of John Fogerty in the sprinkled electric guitar arpeggio’s and gruff singing, all over strident chording and a sniping lead guitar solo. There’s a probable nod to Foghat or Savoy Brown in the rolling guitar instrumental that is ‘Sho-Nuff’ and a neat Leslie’d guitar tone too. ‘With You’ at last has a gentler vocal delivery. Title cut ‘True’ is a love song set to a clipped tempo with a touch of Joe Tex. He gets a fine South-of-the Border vibe on ‘Levantame’ – singing in Spanish I think and it makes a very cool interlude. On ‘Nobody’s Gonna Love You Better’ he moves us into rich guitar chording with a funk leaning and it’s maybe the bets song on the collection. But one small gripe, he tends to deliver the vocals on the songs at the same level of intensity, too often. Being this accomplished he can afford to ease off more of the time and save the strong stuff for the choruses. It’s just eagerness to put the numbers over, but there’s something we can all learn from Lou Reed here. ‘Falling’ is gritty sad story; emphatic chorus and main guitar set to an amp tremelo’d level. Some thing about the vocal delivery hints at stage musical experience. Maybe there’s a story here? The axe break is both lyrical and melodic and makes an excellent sign-off, stunning guitar runs here. Once again an impressive collection in every sense and I can only assume that he puts these numbers over with enthusiasm when he plays live. I’d like to see him do a show, for sure!

Pete Sargeant