Review: Roger Daltrey & Wilko Johnson – Going Back Home

Posted on: Thursday, May 1, 2014

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Roger Daltrey & Wilko Johnson – Going Back Home

(Chess Records: CRCD2014)

The album ‘Going Back Home’ is a masterpiece from two iconic performers, Roger Daltrey and Wilko Johnson. Put together in one week, it speaks loudly of what is good old traditional R&B.

Wilko Johnson, ex Dr Feelgood, is suffering from pancreatic cancer, but he and Roger Daltrey, ex Who, decided to put an album together…. because they can! All the tracks, bar one, are self penned by Wilko.

With Roger Daltrey on vocals, Wilko Johnson on guitar, Norman Watt-Roy on electric bass, Dylan Howe on drums and percussion, Mick Talbot on piano and Hammond organ and Steve Weston on harmonica, the album was produced and mixed by Dave Eringa.

The first track, and the name sake of the album ‘Going Back Home’, goes straight in with up tempo R&B. Some fantastic harp playing from Steve Weston on this number and a great opener for Roger and Wilko. Next, in the classic Wilko style, ‘Ice On The Motorway’, has some great basic rhythms.

A change on the next track, ‘I Keep It To Yourself’ as R&B meets country. A real foot stomping number with superb vocals and harp, with a definite leaning towards a certain Mr Cash! The next track is a great rendition of the only non original track on the album, a Dylan number, ‘Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window’.

‘Turned 21’ gives us another track leaning towards country, while ‘Keep On Loving You’ has shades of 70’s funky rhythms and some great guitar. We then hit an up tempo rockin’ track, ‘Some Kind Of Hero’ where you have difficulty keeping your feet still!

Wilko has a very distinctive style and the next track ‘Sneaking Suspicion’ has classic Wilko rhythms with some great vocals from Roger. On ‘Keep It Out Of Sight’, with the input of the Hammond, it gives a great 70’s feel. Roger still has power in his voice which is evident on this excellent track.

Getting back to basics ‘Everybody’s Carrying A Gun’ is a classic R&B with some fine honky tonk piano. The final track on this excellent album is ‘All Through The City’, where Wilko’s guitar works in tandem with the bass, on this up tempo number.

A great album to take you back in time and although it’s studio based, it hasn’t been over mastered to lose the authentic rough and ready feel. From two legends in their own right, this is definitely one for the history books!

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive and independent reviewer

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