Growing Signs is Joe Rhead‘s first EP and if this is a sign of things to come we are in for a treat.
Rhead, formally from Leek, Staffordshire, now living and working in Liverpool, has a clear idea what he wants his songs to convey, recording the five tracks in his fathers basement, with nothing more than some old recorders (cassette), a 1970’s Wurlitzer piano, his Taylor guitar and lots of time which he has used to great effect.
The EP starts off with Count Your Chances. The ringing guitar carries rather than smothers the wonderful lyrics of this ‘love song with a difference’. Growing Signs is the title track and though the shortest, the beautifully layered instrumental end to this song will have you hitting the repeat button. It’s well worth a listen or three.
The Weather changes the face of this EP yet again. Joe’s clear voice and
guitar playing lead you through this family of songs. Sold Down The River and the final track Time I Leave bring us to the end of this very professional EP.
Some of the harmonies reminded me of early Fleet Foxes and for some reason Damien Rice. It is hard to believe he has recorded all this by himself with so many layers seamlessly weaved together.
Joe grew up listening to James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne around the house, “which I can only thank my parents for”. His first major influence was Martin Grech, whose eclectic albums he found inspiring. Nowadays his favourites are John Martyn, Stevie Wonder, Loudon Wainwright and, of course, the Guillemots, who are not only his favourite band but a big inspiration musically and lyrically. “I find it difficult to name a band that moves me as much as them” he says.
Joe hopes to record another EP in the autumn with some of his talented friends so it’s not just him on his own. I for one would be happy with more of the same.
You can catch Joe Rhead out and about, with his next gig at the Zanzibar on the 27th of August.