Review: Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective – Good Time

Posted on: Monday, Jul 1, 2013

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Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective  Good Time

(Ashwill Records: AWR02)

Based in Chelmsford, Essex; Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective were formed in 2010 and although the bands personnel numbers can vary from six to nine depending on availability and dates, I can happily state that from the evidence of this album you will not be disappointed with the music regardless of the number of musicians taking part. The band places their music as being in the area of Americana but, I feel that their music embraces a wider spectrum of sounds.

For there certainly is no doubt that the richly deep and emotive stirrings emerging from Allan Kelly’s pedal steel and the highly up-tempo percussive drum work from Ant Cummings and Dan Dolman, cohesively brings together the rural feel and sensitivities of country music found in the deep south and the compulsive backbeat rooted in sixties energetic soul infused dance music.

Add to this, the laidback vocals of Jamie Williams, an engaging mixture of soothing Sam Cooke and the nasal twang of Bob Dylan and you have a fizzing combination of a barn dance and a soul all-nighter; a fine example of this is the open and loose freewheeling “Bad Loser,” the merging of pedal steel, guitar and drums is an irresistible toe-tapper. The numbers are recorded live in the studio, displaying an easygoing but, electrifying atmosphere, which I’m sure is a clear indication of their live performances.

A wonderful ode to long hot, lazy hazy lounging days is “Summertime In Georgia,” a beautiful number that is languorously punctuated with a distant pedal steel and harmonica. I imagine that the sixties soul infused grooving of “Jewel In The Crown.” Will most definitely be a festival favourite.

Thirteen of the 14 numbers are original compositions from Jamie with the exception of “So Ordinary,” by Lizzie B who also takes lead vocals on a fine country shuffler that concerns the ending of a failed relationship. Whereas the good time shuffling “Blues Man,” contains a fine flowing harmonica and guitar partnership which amply displays the bands relaxed, fun in the sun, glad and happy approach to their music, as does the aptly titled “Goodtime.”  Finally, a more sombre and sad “Don’t Cry,” contains an emotive and pleading pedal steel solo.

A very fine album!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.jamiewilliamsandtherootscollective.co.uk

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