Thursday, 29 September 2016

Ed Deane

Wireless set

Audiophiles who appreciate variety and musicianship should make space on their shelves for this eclectic and deeply satisfying CD. 

Ed Deane
Deane, a Dublin-born guitarist, has been kicking around as a session player and sometime frontman since the 1960s, so he must be pushing 70. Still, his musical intelligence ranges over a variety of styles: every cut on this album feels fresh and innovative. And Deane’s voice somehow sounds like that of a teenager. 

Some of the cuts have a carefree, radio-friendly feel. Deane’s age notwithstanding, I Need a Holiday, written by Dan Penn and Chuck Prophet, should be a hit today – people should blast it out as they cruise in their convertibles with the tops down. Just feel-good stuff. 

The blues are here, too, in the form of covers of Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied and Taj Mahal’s Queen Bee. 

Half of the 12 songs on the album are instrumentals, and Deane’s impeccable musicianship shines – from tasty slide to fluidly picked leads to wonderful chord changes. (He is, by the way, one of those weirdos who plays the guitar left-handed and upside-down – weirdos whose number also included the great guitarist Albert King.) 

It’s For You, with its flamenco feel, was influenced, Dean says, both by Robert Johnson and Francisco Tarrega, a Spanish classical guitarist and composer who died more than a century ago. 

And Nick Lowe, with whom Deane toured in the 1990s, probably influenced the opening cut, Vampire. Harlem Nocturne, sounds bluesy but eerie. 

And Deane describes the mellow closing track, an instrumental in which his relaxed yet emotive guitar ranges over a rich backdrop of instruments, as “the nearest I’ve managed to get to playing with a string orchestra.” 

Always impeccable, always fresh, always innovative, this is a CD you’ll return to over the years. This one will stand the test of time.

M.D. Spenser

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