ALEX WOOD – I Am Not Lost (Woodman Records)

I Am Not LostThe title track of Alex Wood’s album, which also opens the show, is a lazy languid blues-edged number with acoustic guitar, piano and harmonica. It’s an old song; Alex says it’s the first he ever wrote and it has the ring of truth about it.

Alex has been in the business for more than twenty years: first busking, then solo gigs and some time in a duo and always writing. This, his debut solo album, is a distillation of hundreds of songs written of two decades. His key style is blues/folk with some songs, ‘Chameleon’ for example, leaning towards a harder, rockier vibe. ‘Angels In A Cage’, the story of single mother deserted by the “bad boy” who seduced and deserted her is one of Alex’s best songs, spare and funky with strong lyrics telling a good story.

‘Bankers Boy’ is an odd song about a rich kid who gets his kicks by turning demonstrations into riots – it’s pure fiction, of course, and Alex doesn’t tell us who the inspiration is. It departs from the blues format but the accompaniment keeps it the groove while ‘Hiding Behind My Guitar’ and ‘Think I’ll Walk Anyway’ stray into more familiar singer-songwriter territory.

Those accompaniments are courtesy of producer Rich Young who plays everything that Alex doesn’t and it’s his piano and Hammond that provide so much of the sound of the record.

Dai Jeffries

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