# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Alvin Lee - Still on the Road to Freedom

  by Lisa Torem

published: 29 / 9 / 2012

Alvin Lee - Still on the Road to Freedom
Label: Repertoire Records
Format: CD


Energetic and creative, but occasionally underdeveloped first solo album in five years from Ten Years After front man and blues guitarist, Alvin Lee

Alvin Lee’s career is earmarked by some throbbing and evocative hit songs: ‘I’d Love To Change the World,” featured his idealistic philosophies: “Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more,” and Woodstock gave the lightning fast guitarist a platform on which to display his rugged, blues vocals and incredible solo work. Lee was most famous for being lead guitarist in Ten Years After, and though the band was successful the touring wore him out. In 1973 he stepped away from the circus to pen ‘On the Road to Freedom’, with gospel singer Mylon le Fevre, George Harrison, Steve Winwood and members of Fleetwood Mac. The album was a radical shift from what his blues/rock audiences expected, but it garnered acclaim, despite focusing more on country ballads. Lee’s last two albums, ‘Alvin Lee in Tennessee’ (2004) and ‘Saguitar’(2007), found him experimenting with rap, traditional “train” songs and a southern sensibility, quite a diverse set, before reclaiming the freedom throne. Now he’s back to the roots he first harvested with ‘Still on the Road to Freedom'. The title song begins the journey. ‘Listen To Your Radio Station’ demonstrates his range as an instrumentalist, and he’s given royal treatment by drummer Ian Wallace. ‘Midnight Creeper’ is an easy-going blues flavoured with tasty, concise licks and fiery Hammond organ, courtesy of Tim Hinkley. Lee plays blues harp on ‘Save My Stuff’ ensuring an all around mellow mood. A nostalgic rockabilly feel resides on ‘I’m a Lucky Man’ – we hear Lee’s early influences: Chuck Berry and the Elvis camp, even a twist of Les Paul, as he demonstrates his jack-of- all-trades abilities. A few of the songs illustrate Lee’s more humble side. ‘Walk On, Walk Tall’ is acoustic folk, nothing flashy, but easy on the ears and endearing. ‘Song of the Red Rock Mountain’ is a gripping, fluid dirge, though it ends at a little over two minutes, barely enough time to close your eyes and feel the pulse. On ‘Nice and Easy’, Lee plays an immaculate solo – the title describes the mood succinctly. ‘Back in 69’ pokes fun at “commie bastards,” when the contemplative guitarist goes wildly nostalgic with a smattering of funk/psychedelia. ‘Down Line Rock’ takes us back to the brilliant basics of old-fashioned rock, developed by more of Tim Hinkley’s finesse and the exciting double bass of Pete Pritchard. ‘Rock You’ carefully crafted with Richard Newman’s drums has a contagious theme, but at 1:32, it doesn’t get the time it deserves to really soar. For those who remember the days of yore, the exiting song, ‘Love Like A Man 2’ features carefree vocals and piercing solo work, not to mention Richard Newman’s crisp backbeat. As usual, Lee demonstrates loads of creative energy and life force, but a few of his ideas deserved more development. That said, this album is a great ensemble effort.

Track Listing:-
1 Still on the Road to Freedom
2 Listen to Your Radio Station
3 Midnight Creeper
4 Save My Stuff
5 I'm a Lucky Man
6 Walk on, Walk Tall
7 Blues Got Me so Bad
8 Song of the Red Rock Mountain
9 Nice & Easy
10 Back in 69
11 Down Line Rock
12 Rock You
13 Love Like a Man 2

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