I’m going to break with the standard album review convention by coming straight out with it. Deliverance, the new album from Jimmy Rae, is brilliant! Buy it now!
In fact, buy lots of copies – one for yourself, one for each of your children, one for your parents, one for someone at work, one for that person you know who doesn’t like listening to music, and one for your neighbour. If you were actually to do this then the chances are that few (if any) of these people would be disappointed. That’s because the music on Deliverance is just so darned accessible, with a wide-ranging appeal across generations and musical tastes.
When I popped the CD into my laptop and fired up iTunes it showed the genre as rock, but listening to the songs from start to finish you’ll find not so much rock, more country, with a fair sprinkling of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, Americana, folk, and pop. Now, if like me you’re thinking “but I can’t stand country music” then you needn’t fret because this is as far away from the mainstream formulaic country music as you can get. You’ll find no clichés here! Avoiding labels, this is simply good music.
Deliverance contains twelve great songs with more standout tracks than the average album, and not a single track that could be described as average, let alone weak. This is testament to the excellent songwriting skills of one James David Rae. As part of this review I was going to list my favourite songs from the album, but soon realised I’d listed half of the tracks – Ain’t So Sorry, Tomorrow Night, Take You Home, Eddie’s Guitar, Unfinished Rooms, I Wish You Everything – each one worthy of praise.
But good songs are nothing without good musicians to play them, and to this end Jimmy has called on the talents of some of the best musos around. And boy has it paid off! The music evokes images totally befitting the title Deliverance, of hillbillies and hoboes in the heart of Georgia, of railroads, rivers and wooden shacks.
Deliverance is dedicated to the memory of bass player Rob Adams who sadly passed away last year. Rob appears on six of the tracks, and I can honestly think of no better tribute to him than this record. The album has been many years in the making, and is certainly well worth the wait. However, let’s hope we don’t have to wait quite so long for the next one!
Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s a Web Development Officer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.