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Mike Randle - Barstool Blues

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 26 / 9 / 2004

Mike Randle - Barstool Blues
Label: Ochre
Format: CD


Lacklustre econd solo album from Baby Lemonade and Love guitarist, Mike Randle, the songs on which work better live than as studio recordings

Mike Randle is the lead guitarist in Los Angeles group Baby Lemonade. He also plays guitar with Arthur Lee's Love. The songs on 'Bar Stool Blues' do work better live. I saw him preview them at a show at the Garage in London in February, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. On CD, however, it does take a while to get much out of them, and I was tempted at first to turn the disc off. Randle's vocals are delivered in twee fashion and tell of sun-drenched Californian folk who hang out in cocktail bars and coffee houses and buy over-priced drinks. These songs remind of the sort of thing Gary Jules might do, and my initial feelings were about it who gives a damn ??? I have a lot of respect for Mike Randle, but at the same time couldn't feel for the songs that I was being told. What saves the album is Randle's guitar playing which is stunning. Several of the songs are undoubtedly repetitive and could end a lot sooner. Some of them, however, remind me of Ian McNabb with their Californian-style mannerisms. An old style church organ, which is used on 'Mornin' Run' and 'Hana Sushi Theme' also gives the album a bit of a lift. The latter track in particular definitely wakes you up with its perky pace. The best track is, however, left to last. 'Orland Park' sounds like Ian McNabb fronting Mojave 3, and, even with a running time of nearly 10 minutes, never becomes boring or sounds too long. It is just a shame that tne rest of 'Bar Stool Blues' doesn't shine so brightly.

Track Listing:-
1 This Is The Sound
2 All The Beautiful People (Shop On Melrose)
3 Mornin' Run
4 Snug Harbour
5 City Life
6 Glad You're Gone
7 Blue Bonnet Drive
8 Coctails
9 Hana Sushi Theme
10 Watersigns
11 Orland Park

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