Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ralph Atkinson - Going Down In History

Hear The Track Here

Third time around for Ralph Atkinson a blues rock guitarist from Toronto, Canada. You may remember his excellent Building A Time Machine (October 2009), the track that introduced me to him. There are an awful lot of singer/songwriters around on the various sites and on Soundclick in particular, so its a given that this is going to be a hard sell and you'd have to have something on the ball to be able to make an impression. With the two tracks under my belt, Ralph has shown two different sides, From the great blues rock of Building A Time Machine and a not so hot blues rock in You Mix Me Up (January 2010) I definitely like his bluesy side but You Mix Me Up just failed to cut it with me. Going Down In History is slightly more to the blues rock (and more rock than blues) side and - as such - suffers somewhat by being more of the same. If that sounds derogatory, I don't mean it that way. As I say, there are ample songs out there in this vein, there aren't too many with authenticity.

Time Machine had that but neither of the other tracks do, and that may well be my own personal taste kicking in. Like most of the comments already posted about this song, the elements that make it up are very well sourced and put together, but maybe I have heard this style too many times for my own good. When we get away from the musical side of things that the track scores for me because Going Down In History is a story song, and a pretty good example of it too. While Ralph doesn't have the greatest voice in the world, he certainly manages to carry a tune and that in itself is a bit of talent, especially in a track like this where the lyrical side is as important, if not more so, than the music it is packaged in.

I wouldn't have expected a musician of Ralph's obvious quality to deliver sub-standard work instrumentally or technically and indeed Going Down In History makes that point admirably, then it just becomes a matter of taste. While I can appreciate the work that has gone into the track, and find parts of it immensely appealing, it isn't in all truthfulness something I'd want to listen to on a regular basis and a lot of the blame for that must lie in the very standard setting of the music. As I say, something I have a lot of times before, its only Ralph's style and presence that saves the day. There again, this is a kind of ballad and a rock ballad to boot so I plead my usual defense against such things and run away screaming...

Recommended rock tale (nonetheless)

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