December 21, 2016 by Adam Wilson
Robb Johnson – My Best Regards
I’ve enjoyed Robb Johnson’s music for years now. I like his social conscience and the political dimension that come through in many of his songs. Check out his back catalogue and songs like Hope St Tomorrow Afternoon, Be Reasonable and many more. He also does humour extremely well and tenderness, songs that will bring a tear to your eye, such as the gorgeous Don’t close the bar. But these are from his previous albums yet the new album My Best Regards is full of songs that are equally as compelling as the ones I’ve mentioned already.
On the album Robb is joined by pianist Jenny Carr and bassist John Forrester, as well as his son Arvin playing drums and percussion. The songs cover subjects from the personal to the political; from birthdays to migrations; from late night bus stops to the Sidmouth promenade; from Babbacombe Model Village to Franz Kafka and Prague. They additionally cover new babies in Hollingdean, MPs’ 10% pay rises, and Turkish red wine and charity shops in Broadstairs. My standout track, if I have to select just a mere one song is When the Tide Comes in recorded with the Palestinian singer Reem Kelani. I must have played it a good few times on the show. And I can envisage it finding it’s way onto a future playlist too.
Check out my Best Regards, I feel certain you’ll like it.
Joe Purdy – Who will be next?
I must acknowledge that I’d not come across Joe Purdy until I received a copy of this album in the post. I try and discover as much new music as I possibly can but sadly some good stuff can escape under my radar. But with Joe Purdy better late than not at all.
This record is excellent, an American singer songwriter with a Dylan-like vocal style in some respects. In fact he’s been described as planting his feet deep in the tradition of folk artists such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. Right up my musical street, protest songs for 2016, Joe’s been referred to as a passionate observer and participant of our times. Yep, I’d concur with that. He’s a great find, only wish it hadn’t taken me quite so long.
Children of privilege is my current favourite song from the album. Have a listen here.