His mother lead vocalist London’s first all-girl pop band The Beat-Chics and his uncle Tom Jones’s dummer on ‘What’s New Pussycat’, born in North London of Irish-Armenian heritage (but now based in Southern California), Page describes the music on A Wild Rose, his twenty-seventh album in as many years, as Americeltic, a tag underscored by the presence of Uilleann pipes, an influence assimilated from his grandfather, Dave Page, a traditional piper who once recorded for Parlophone.
Co-produced with Robbie Robertson, the album seeks to establish a musical and spiritual connection with a country which, despite his Irish blood, he’s never actually visited, the pipes being juxtaposed with the more American sounds of fiddle, banjo and, featuring Doug Pettibone, pedal steel.
Opening with the suitably lively banjo-led sounds of ‘I’m Alive’ and with numbers rarely exceeding three minutes, it’s a generally mid-tempo or upbeat musical collection, the only slow number coming at the close with the piano-accompanied instrumental ‘Goodnight Jack’.
Placed second in the running order, the title track opening introduces the album’s Irish colours, with Eric Rigler on the pipes, a song that celebrates the meeting and union of two hearts that can readily been also seen as a metaphor for the music itself. That Irish ambience returns for the intro to ‘Dreams To The Rescue’ before giving way to a banjo and fiddle jog.
Country colours provide the musical palette for the easy rolling rhythm of ‘Waiting For The Sun Again’ and, Pettibone to the fore, the playful retro-like break-up waltzer ‘Say Adios’ and the cascading chords of the swing balladry styled ‘The Trouble With Me Is You’, while the swayalong ‘Born With The Shakes Inside’ sounds a more folksy note.
Page’s lived-in voice has a touch of a less raspy, smoother Randy Newman about it that, like the songs, tends to pleasantly wash over you rather than demanding your attention, but this is undeniable well worth a bramble through.
Artist’s website: www.gregorypage.com
‘Waiting For The Sun Again’ – official: