Review: The Motives Featuring Matt Taylor

Posted on: Thursday, Jun 14, 2012

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The Motives Featuring Matt Taylor

(Bluesy Eclectic Recordings: BECD0112)

Just out this week is the fine debut offering from British four-piece The Motives, featuring Matt Taylor . . . the band are made up of seasoned musicians with wide-ranging CVs, and together they have released  a very classy 12-track album, which though firmly rooted in the blues takes a few chances – the songs are mostly self-penned or collaborations. The album follows on from the four-track “Gangsters” EP, which introduced the band.

Led by the fine vocals and fluid guitar of Matt Taylor, who recently was a member of  The Snowy White Blues Project and has worked with a wide variety of people as a session musician, the band also features Ian Siegal’s long-time bass player, Andy Graham; on keyboards, the in-demand Jonny Dyke, who first made his name as part of the very popular British blues band Out Of The Blue; and last, but not least, Roy Martin on drums . . . who was with Taylor in The Snowy White Blues Project, and has also worked with Aretha Franklin and David Sanborn, whilst living in New York.

The opening “Never Tell A Lie” rides on a fluid guitar hook and Taylor’s warm vocal, backed by Dykes keyboards . . . which often give the music a sort of classic British 60s r&b groove . . . with a biting, but economical guitar solo. The following “Cookie Jar” is a very soulful Taylor number, again with Dyke to the fore and the punchy rhythm section of Graham and Martin pushing the music along. The lengthy “Leap Of Faith” is a bluesy affair, as Taylor’s sweet guitar is in unison with his vocal . . . reminded me a lot of Eric Clapton this track.

The pace is taken down a little for the first of two co-writes with former England cricketer Mark Butcher, on the delightful “Find Another Love”, again underpinned by some fine playing from Jonny Dyke. Andy Graham’s long-time boss, the top British bluesman Ian Siegal, contributes some trademark growling vocals to the swinging rumba of “The Rules Don’t Apply”, another Matt Taylor song. A standout is the excellent “Looking For The Way Home”, with its country funk feel – the piano of Dyke taking it into Little Feat territory.

Elsewhere, the full band co-write, “Gone Before” – the lengthiest track at 7:15 – sees Taylor’s guitar work to the fore with some lovely blues licks and heartfelt vocal on this epic ballad. Taylor picks a song from another former colleague in the shape of sax player Raf Ravenscroft – of “Baker Street” fame – in the funky “Gangsters”; “If You Were Gone” rocks nicely, with great guitar hook again . . . and noteable contributions from all the band.

Proceedings end on a soulful note with “Baby Don’t Lose My Number”, which combines a soul edge with a nice bluesy shuffle and tough guitar solos, and Dyke’s tinkling ivories – and is a fitting end to a most assured and recommended debut from this stellar addition to the British blues scene . . . and I’m sure they will be at a festival or club near you soon!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.the-motives.com


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