Review: Ben Poole – Let’s Go Upstairs
Posted on: Monday, Nov 26, 2012
Ben Poole – Let’s Go Upstairs
Funk Junkie Music BPCDLP2012
This is 22-year old Ben Poole’s debut album and it is a fine testament to his impressive songwriting ability, guitar playing and very effective, slightly hoarse vocals. His burgeoning reputation as a guitarist has been endorsed by several iconic masters of the art, not least Jeff Beck and the late Gary Moore.
Nine of the twelve tracks have been written solely or jointly by Ben Poole, starting with the philosophical “Hanging In The Balance”. That is followed by an excellent version of the Anne Peebles hit “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down”, complete with a brass section accompaniment. The soulful “It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way” is richly enhanced by some splendid backing singing, as is the funky-edged title song. The pace is eased somewhat by “Love Nobody No More“ and the insistent beat of “Holding Onto Love“ before the tempo is raised a little by “Over It Now“, which is embellished by some particularly nifty guitar work.
There is an excellent delivery of “Atmosphere”, the second cover on the album, while “Play On Play On” introduces a heavier, darker mood to the collection. A fast-moving version of Steve Cropper/Otis Redding’s “Mr Pitiful” delivers a superb guitar solo before the pace is slowed again with the soulful ballad, “After All This Time”. The album is brought to a climax by the expertly executed “Let The Rain Come Down”, which offers a touch of gospel with another helping of top class backing vocals.
Among the encouragingly large cohort of young singer/guitarists currently adorning the UK’s blues-based circuit, Ben Poole compares very favourably and this professionally produced album is a credit to him. Unfortunately, the sparse information on the cover notes and the absence of any publicity literature to accompany the CD deny the opportunity to name Ben’s fellow band members and backing singers, all of whom deserve an honourable mention.