ALBUM : WE ARE WHERE WE ARE
RELEASED : NOV 2011
RICHARD TOWNEND & FRIENDS
WE ARE WEHRE WE ARE
"Melancholic, relaxed and enthralling: Richard Townend is a fascinating songwriter in the world of blues. With The Mighty Bosscats he has a band on the side that make his songs prime examples of contemporary blues.
No, this is not Chris Rea, and not JJ Cale – if he was he would not have written song likes "If you aint Got Religion" or "Hang An Innocent Man" . To Richard Townend the stories he tells in his songs, are more important than the saleability. And so to "We Are Where We Are" a fascinating collection of ten songs that you will like to listen to the lyrics, which may move/disturb you and which you can also disagree to. Musically this relaxed blues is full of surprises (great - especially the saxophone solo on the title track). The Mighty Bosscats are just not the "normal" band that can be heard playing on the weekend in your favorite pub. Although any pub would benefit to step away from the eternal clichés, from the same old riffs and songs to this exciting music full of melancholy and beauty.
Generally if I'm listening to music, I like to hear every note, make out every word. There's one genre that I'll break that rule for, blues. There is something about blues that makes a laid back mumble of a vocal sound like it's the right place to be, especially when it hits a mood spot as well.There are times, it has to be said, where Richard Townend is a bit of a mumbler, that is made evident on the first and title track of his new album "We Are Where We Are", a title which also gives full reign to his intention of not wanting to be rushed. It's a song that delivers a message and delivers it hard, here's a man that's going to enjoy taking his time and entertain you whilst doing so.It's an album that pulls in a number of different sounds and songs, ranging from the spiritual, to the existential, he takes subjects that he relates to and turns them into songs. Consequently that means there are a number of songs that step outside of more traditional blues parameters.
A fine example of this is "Al", a blues tribute to the great mathematician and computer pioneer Alan Turing. It's a song that pulls no punches in its criticism of the establishment that drove him into a very premature grave.That song, more than any other highlights that this is a blues album with a different philosophy as well as being one that shows that when Richard Townend wants to make himself clear, he can do that, crystal clear."We Are Where We Are" wasn't an instant album for me, I could tell there was something there, but on the first couple of plays it just escaped me putting my finger on it. It wasn't until the third run through that it stopped eluding me. I stopped listening too hard, suddenly the whole album really began to flow together.
There's something in the blues, jazz, swing that just needs a little bit of space to hang loose and work on the subconscious rather than try and find a way around to your face. Relax and chill, let the album come to you rather than chase the meaning and understanding becomes yours. Neil King