The Whiskey Poets LOW COUNTRY

Red Dog Records ………

Famed crime-thriller writer tries his hand at Americana

Award-winning author of numerous crime thrillers, R. J. Ellory, has branched into the music world, penning 11 numbers and teaming up with multi-instrumentalist Martin Smith who put the melodies together and plays guitar, lap steel and bouzouki on the album. The result is a professional sounding effort which sits pretty firmly within the realms of folk rock/Americana.

Ellory’s vocals are distinctive and crystal clear and at times it seemed he was trying to emulate the writings of the likes of Richard Thompson. He is supported by Rob Oliver (bass), Roger Nunn (drums) and Joolz Dunkley (keyboards) who together with Martin Smith hold the album together pretty well, calling themselves The Whiskey Poets.

Obviously possessing more than adequate poetic skills, Ellory had little trouble cobbling together a set of nicely crafted lyrics. I couldn’t help feeling though, that the author probably regards this as a something of a diversion. Nevertheless, the album is listenable and veers from gentle ballads to high octane, throbbing Americana.

The highlight for me was the opening track, the bluesy Black To Blue and I felt that the rest of the album never quite lived up to the standard set so early on. Certainly worth a listen but in my view, it is unlikely to be a commercial success. John Roffey

The Whiskey Poets LOW COUNTRY

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