Des Horsfall’s Kuschty Rye – THE GOOD GENTLEMAN’S TONIC

Honouring the legend of the late great Ronnie Lane, in the only way he knew how, roots-rocker Des Horsfall and his band Kuschty Rye embarked on a journey. It was a journey which resulted in the superbly packaged album you have in your hands today, entitled THE GOOD GENTLEMAN’S TONIC.

Recorded at Valve Studios with producer Andy Bell at the helm, the release takes in folk, country, blues, rock and pop influences, reminiscent of Ronnie Lane’s own post Faces work with the legendary Slim Chance. To create a truly fitting tribute to the legend, Des enlisted the help of many of Ronnie’s contemporaries to fully evoke the feel of the Travelling Show that Slim Chance was famously known for. The album has a laid back 1970s feel to it, evident in Lane’s output from his Slim Chance period and the release is given a seal of authenticity by including guest appearances from original Slim Chance members Benny Gallagher, Charlie Hart and Steve Simpson.

This forward looking, though at times nostalgic record is further enhanced by contributions from Spiral Earth Awards nominee Katriona Gilmore, renowned folk accordionist Hannah James and noted pedal steel player PJ Wright.

As a nod to the material on the debut Slim Chance record ANYMORE FOR ANYMORE, Des has covered and kept faithful to Ronnie’s version of Careless Love while totally reworking hit single The Poacher to poignantly end the record. Of the songs penned by Des, prime cuts include the Cajun swing of Nothing New, the anthemic Little Girl and live favourite Long Long Time, a track that cries out to be a hit single.

A very special feature of the release is the ‘Unwinese Mix,’ the story of the album’s inception narrated by John Unwin, son of the late great Professor Stanley Unwin who invented the Unwinese language used to great effect in the Small Faces recording OGDENS NUT GONE FLAKE album. The ‘Unwinese Mix’ tells the story of how Des was inspired by Ronnie Lane and, as if by magic, hit up on the idea to create his own travelling show. I can well remember during the 1970s when Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance toured all over the UK travelling in a convoy of circus vehicles setting up their big top and performing shows in parks and on public land when the authorities would allow, indeed the famed Viv Stanshall of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band acted as ringmaster on several of the shows. THE GOOD GENTLEMAN’S TONIC is the first in a trilogy of Kuschty Rye albums mirroring Ronnie Lane’s three Slim Chance releases.

A contribution of £1 from the sale of each album sold at live shows will be donated to The Multiple Sclerosis Trust in memory of Ronnie Lane.

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“First pass through ‘The Good Gentleman’s Tonic’ made me grin like a fool, put a tear in my eye and even made the hair stand up on my arms. Nothing has touched my heart like this album. What was needed wasn’t someone who did a good imitation of Ronnie Lane, or was handy with a resonator- it’s the soul, the vibe, the spirit of the little bugger… and Des Horsfall has nailed it completely in this bunch of songs”. Brian Robbins (Relix Magazine USA).