Review: Richard Studholme – Life

Posted on: Thursday, Oct 18, 2012

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Richard Studholme – Life

(Tonezone Records: CD0025)

Richard Studholme’s interest in music was first aroused by the music of The Shadows, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, at the age of 13 he began to play semi- professionally, he at the same time started to seriously investigate who the writers of their early recordings actually were. By the age of 26 in 1977 he had moved to New York City and was playing in a well respected local band with Bill Dicey, Charles ‘Honeyboy’ Otis, and Sherman Holmes.

After about ten years he returned to England and promptly became the main session guitarist/bandleader for the JSP label which recorded and promoted such blues artists as; Carey and Lurrie Bell, Louisiana Red, Larry Johnson, ‘Lucky’ Lopez Evans, ‘Lefty’ Dizz, Lowell Fulson and Hubert Sumlin.  It was through working with these legends that the evidence of Richard’s undoubted skill, ability and professionalism led directly to the ‘raising of the bar;’ greatly increasing and enhancing the reputation of English backing bands.

Currently, he divides his time between recording, performing and hosting his own radio show; as ever with his discrete nature he has quietly released his new album which is a collection of originals and fine covers. As with the likes of Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe, Richard has the innate and sublime ability to create and infuse an atmosphere of warmth, care and affection within each individual number, whether they are slow groovers as in “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me,” and the exquisite Peter Green influenced “I Just Go,” or the instrumental, hip swinging, ivory pushing floor sweeper “2120 South Michigan Avenue.” Joining Richard; guitar/vocals is Jim Leverton; bass, Josh Phillips; organ, Andy Newmark, drums and The Incognito Horns.

The drivingly infectious, “She Put the Whammy In Me,” is a definite toe-tapper as is “Little Mystery,” wonderful reminders of good tines past. “How Ya Doin,” has a lovely loping, swampy horn driven Southern Soul feel. While the delightful, “Love Is Amazing,”  “New Day,” and “Working On The Bottom,” contain dreamily entwined urban organ and horn passages.The whole album oozes a singular confidence matched with calming understatement. Delectable!

BRIAN HARMAN

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