Review: Slack Alice – Cliff Stocker And The Legendary Slack Alice And Friends – Never, Never, Ever, Give Up . . .

Posted on: Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013

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Cliff Stocker is a legend in himself, having gloried in the ‘fame’ in the 70’s with the original Slack Alice. Cliff on vocals, harmonica and acoustic guitar, the highly talented Chris Preston on lead and slide guitar, Colin Redmond on guitar, Alan Sagar with his unique style on bass guitar and hard hitting Liam Barber on drums. With plenty of ‘guest’ input this album has great presence.

The first track, ‘Prophet’, written by Cliff, is a great sultry blues. With the presence of the harmonica and Cliffs ‘gravel’ voice it sets a vivid scene. Some superb guitar work.

Next to brighten up the day is ‘Don’t Come A Knockin’ and is truly ‘Rockin’. A Stocker/Preston song it has great foot tapping appeal and some excellent guitar work.

‘Song for My Friends’ moves into the realms of country blues. Nice banjo and use of slide guitar and plenty of guests on this track offering a range of musical input. Cliffs arrangement of this Peter Gardiner song has given it a ‘gospel’ feel and it has almost the element of an anthem … great one to get the crowd singing along to … so get those lighters out!

With a lazy jazzy feel and another Stocker song, ‘Still Singing The Blues’ has a star studded cast. With Zoot Money and Paul Nuttall on piano and the amazing Snake Davis on Sax, with Jerry Donahue on guitar, Gerry Conway on drums and Scott Whitley on bass, this track has great appeal and sets itself apart from the normal route of Slack Alice.

Back into the rocky number ‘Liar’, a Stocker/Redmond/Preston track that leans more to the rock side of blues. Some great drum work and an excellent guitar solo.

‘Write Me A Letter’ has a laid back country blues feel , written by Cliff and bass player Alan Sagar it has great slide guitar and background acoustic guitar. The bass riffs are also highlighted in this track, a very ‘easy’ listen.

Back to the influences of rock ‘Hormones’ has the classic ‘rock’ feel. Cliff Stocker is in his element in this track vocally and both Chris Preston and Colin Redmond have a chance to shine with two varying guitar solos. All three were in involved in the writing of this track.

One of my favourites tracks on the album, a real rock n’ roll track ‘Let It Rock’ by Stocker/Preston. Some great ‘boogie woogie’ piano by Paul Nuttall and beat pounding bass and guitar riffs … pure ‘rockin’.

Another country blues number by Stocker/Sagar, ‘Two Eyes’. A primarily acoustic number, apart from the electric bass, with mandolin, banjo and acoustic guitar and vocals from Cliff.

Something totally away from the norm, ‘Conversations’ by Alan Sagar is a show piece on how a bass can be played. A brilliant execution of the song, with just the other half of the rhythm section in accompaniment. Certainly a ‘chill’ factor on the album … superb.

‘There Goes Another Dream’ by Stocker/Crossley has Cliff on vocals accompanied by Paul Lucker on piano. Another ‘easy’ listen.

‘Monday Morning Blues’ a reworked Stocker number, although bordering on classic rock has haunting harmonica and some awesome slide guitar. A great track especially with Cliff’s vocals.

The last track on the album is ‘Dont Come A Knockin’ again, but is a bonus track with Micky Gallagher on piano … truly ‘rockin’!!!!!!!!

A great album with a variety of tracks to keep everyone interested … an eclectic mix and variety is the spice of life … excellent!!!!

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

www.slackaliceband.moonfruit.com

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