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Gwyn Ashton - 'Solo Elektro' Album Review


1. Metaphysical Journey

2. Freedom

3. She Won't Tell Me

4. Dawn Of Tomorrow

5. In Your Blood

6. Please Allow Me

7. Late Night

8. I Guess That's What They Call Love

9. Kind To Be Cruel

10. Shine Lover Shine

11. Metaphysical Journey (Reprise)

I must admit being a long-time admirer of the Welsh-born, Aussie-raised, now West Midlands-based Blues Rocker Gwyn Ashton – from his early Rory Gallagher-influenced sound to actually being a member of Band Of Friends, playing the music of one of his heroes - so followed the build-up to the release on his very active social media sites, and now it is here . . . what a blast “Solo Elektro” is!

Ashton truly kicks serious 'ass' over the duration of the 11 tracks (ten and a reprise if you're being picky) . . . his one-man band fuzzy guitar and driving bass drum take us all over the proverbial place . . . from shades of Beatles and Stones circa 1967, West Coast Psychedelia to some serious crunching Blues riffery . . . but yet bang up to date for this modern era.

The collection of songs are co-written with Gary Allen, and he and Ashton have come up with a collection of songs with big guitar hooks, yet at the same time mostly very radio-friendly. The proverbial 'road warrior' set up his equipment in a room whilst on tour in the Czech Republic to track “Solo Elektro”, with the aim of recording live, without overdubs.

Every one is a winner, from the opening (and closing) psychedelic epic “Metaphysical Journey”; the following opening howl of feedback and Iommi-like riff of “Freedom” and more howls of great guitar on the stomping rocker “She Won't Tell Me”. I must point out that Gwyn Ashton has no mean voice too, which is perfectly suited to the material.

Elsewhere jumping out are the slow burning “Dawn Of Tomorrow”; another up tempo rocker in the shape of “In Your Blood” and the boogie and Blues shuffle of “Please Allow Me”. Ashton also digs deep into some North Mississippi hill Country Blues on “Late Night”, with more fierce guitar.

The slide-driven frenzy of “Shine Lover Shine” positively roars out of the blocks at breakneck speed, before this great album ends in fine style with a lengthy reprise of the opening “Metaphysical Journey” - never overstaying its welcome at seven minutes plus.

A highly recommended release from one of the most hard-working 'solo artists around, whose non-stop touring, and self-publicity must be applauded in these tough times. Check this out folks!

Review - Grahame Rhodes

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