Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon
A fantastic blues opener throws us into a fun and thigh slapping jig from the concrete roots of previous eras, made modern for the day with the up-tempo and the rock distortions in the mix. Dancing piano riffs plug away at traditional patterns while guitar and harmonica jam around repetitive bouncy rhythms. As it finishes quickly and abruptly, some rock n roll riffs sweep in from the wings to deliver another fun and jumpy number. Psychedelic vocal effects with harmonising reverbs make an atmosphere of mystery, and the throbbing blues melody gets the head moving into a swirl of hypnotic enjoyment.
An acid folk feel comes with the acoustic and close-in vocal sound that captures the nuances of Francis Rossi, as he lets out his gentler side. This is a lovely song with pretty tones, and it feels like a red carpet for Shy Fly, which plugs in the instruments and lets rip with a bluesy hard rock intro and a progression that fits a rock song, a pounding chorus and frantic stumming in time to treble heavy drums, the scene is set for head banging. Having made two albums previously, the journey to rock happened with this third release . Although uncharted at the time, it marks a transition period in the band's evolution.
A juicy riff unfolds to make way for Junior's Wailing, a sing along number that carries a mixing style from the previous albums. A Hammond organ with easy to follow choral “nananas” give it an edge that touches on work of The Doors but also feels like something made by Hawkwind. It's an interesting fusion of ideals. More rock n roll blues style fills the heart of the next few tracks, and perhaps the new sound is ultimately brought into being during Lazy Poker Blues, where sexual innuendo and fast paced blues guitar licks frame a number full of musical passion.
To close, some deeper and more dreamy sounds are drawn into play as the chorus of Is it Really Me drone away as a slower driven but equally meaty rock number, calling on the traditional blues style to build the skeleton for a powerful vocal and guitar duo jam over matching drums. For a band that has the reputation for always sounding the same, Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon seems to be an original and freshly written album that uses old fashioned structures to build something positive and challenging. It doesn't all sound the same.
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