Ricky Warwick – When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues) / Hearts On Trees (Nuclear Blast)

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On paper, releasing a double record, one featuring an electric and an acoustic LP seems, well, a little crazy. But Ricky Warwick has both the ability and charisma to pull it off and executes the project with confident ease. He’s a rocker, he’s a frontman, he’s a guitar player and he’s a songwriter, all rolled into one. And whether it’s the first Almighty album, or anything from The Black Star Riders, this double package easily stands alongside, and among, his finest moments. The first ten tracks that make up ‘When Patsy Cline…’ embrace a gritty Social Distortion-esque sound and feel, overflowing with true Irish magnetism, a real home grown vibe and a workingman ethic – it’s a rustic bar brawl of truth, hope, and helplessness. ‘Hearts On Trees’ has a softer approach, yet addresses it’s themes with a dulcet, pessimistic tone, as if Ricky is reaching into the darker parts of his heart. As an artist, one can appreciate why he has chosen to work on both sides of the musical spectrum, but it’s the rockier moments of ‘Celebrating Sinking’, ‘The Road To Damascus Street’ and ‘Gold Along The Cariboo’ that perfectly capture his true potential in full blown swing. Recommended. Mark Freebase


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