Matty James “The Road To No Town”
We first encountered Matty James with his live album “Last One To Die”. It was great to see a musician who was obviously determined to get his songs heard by as many people as possible and has a passion for playing live. We’re also a sucker for a bar room poet, which is very much how we would describe Matty. Indeed, for some reason, we can’t help thinking about bars and drinking when we hear his music!
It starts off with the Irish Whisky sound of “The Road To No Town”, a rough bar room song with a Celtic feel. It’s a song to soundtrack drinking and possibly fighting. In contrast, “Oh My Darlin” and in particular “Win Or Lose”, owe more to Kentucky bourbon than whisky, given their country swing. That cowboy hat can be swapped for a pirate one when you hear “Gun Powder”. You’ll definitely be reaching for the eye patch and a bottle of rum when you hear this rock n roll shanty!
Matty James frequently performs with the king of the bar room singer/songwriter style, Tyla (ex Dogs D’amour). Not surprisingly, therefore, there are some crawling, slow and moody numbers on here. Songs like “Hold On” and “Cut With Dust” are built for drowning your sorrows with a bottle of warm, red wine.
Our really favourite songs on the album though are those which sound like one of the above drinks followed by a shot of tequila! “Sticks And Stones” is just a great, sing-a-long, rock n roll track. It’s pretty simple but just great fun. The same is true of “Heavy Heart”, which may have a slightly down beat sound, but is still catchy and uses some neat harmonies. It’s hard to imagine anyone not having a good time when listening to the upbeat rock n roller, “Dissatisfied”. Now if strippers or, to be more classy, burlesque dancers are your idea of a fun time, the exquisite “Money And The Devil” is the perfect musical accompaniment. It’s a brilliant song that just slinks along with a sultry swagger.
This is a great rock n roll album and fulfils are hopes as to what Matty James would deliver next. It’s a rough and ready, down to earth, batch of great songs. They sound great on record (indeed, they should be heard on vinyl rather than some modern download!). It will also leave us scouring his tour dates to make sure we get to see them played in a live environment, where we kind of feel they will sound even better!