Review: Forty 4 – Whitewood EP
Posted on: Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010
Long overdue comes this promo EP release from the region’s most underrrated band: Forty 4. At long last, Neil Partington (vocals/guitar), Paul Starkey (guitar), Glen Lewis (keyboards), Nick Lauro (drums) and Steve Brown (bass) made it into the studio to records some songs.
The opening song of the release is a sweet medium fast shuffle “Just Good Cause”. Kicking off with Partington’s solo rhythm guitar intro, the band launch into this tight Texas style shuffle telling the tale of losing everything to a bad woman. In a little under four minutes all the lead instruments are featured in classy solos.
None of the top-quality piano sounds from the super slick, highly polished, top of the range keyboard of Glen Lewis were suitable for the intro to the old Roosevelt Sykes tune “Forty-Four” so the band regrouped, rethought and used an old, barely-in-tune, upright piano sitting unloved in the corner of the studio. Lewis kicks off with the infamous barrelhouse piano riff with Lauro dropping in over the top using an old marching drum to lead the band New Orleans style through the song. Both guitars show great restraint and play minimal backing through the verses and piano solo until the middle when Starkey breaks cover to deliver a fine verse of 1960s Brtish-style guitar solo.
The band get all funky for a slick and stylish, rework of the Ray Charles classic “I Don’t Need No Doctor”. This is the final song and closes this short release. In the three songs presented, the band show a fine grip on a number of musical styles – all played with an impeccably tight rhythm section and Partington’s strong vocals showing his musical family pedigree (ask him to describe his relatives the next time you meet him).
Great stuff guys – keep it up – we are looking forward to the next instalment. Please don’t take three years on the next one.
The EP is available directly from the band at their gigs at a very modest price. Check them out – you won’t be disappointed.