Saturday, June 12, 2010

Charlie Betts - Whatever It Takes LP

Hear The Track Here

Seem to be getting quite a few requests from the Bandcamp site, so obviously this is a site doing something right. Charlie Betts, a folk rock musician has set up over there and approached me for a review and being a fellow brit, who am I to say nay? OK, the folk rock bit takes a bit of getting over because, IMHO, this is a very difficult genre to master because, contrary to popular opinion it is not supposed to support a legion of whingers, whiners and moaners. When its done properly, folk rock is uplifting as any other musical form, maybe more so because its just some geezer with a guitar and a way with a tune. Whatever It Takes is an eleven track compilation that is available to all at an unbeatable 'name your price' tag.

Yeah, but.....

To answer the elephant in the room, yes it IS worth it even more so if you actually like folk rock in all its various guises. One thing I should make clear is that although this may be billed as a geezer (Hi Charlie!) and a guitar, Charlie's music is much, much more than that. I was two tracks into the album before I realised how much I was enjoying the experience and track two Four Walls is a definite Must Have if an odd blend of Bob Dylan and Soundclick's very own Thomas J Marchant sounds like a good deal. While I am not sure of the provenance of the music (other musicians, studio? home produced? wot?), my questioning it must give you a big clue. Once you get used to the sound and style Charlie employs, the quality of sound and performance shows that either he has very good assistance, or he's got it all nailed down himself.

Either way, as a whole, Whatever It Takes will be worth both the listen and yes the paid download, because here's a very country influenced folkie who also happens to be a more than decent songwriter. While Whatever It Takes had some highs and lows on a track by track basis, taken as a whole this is a very satisfying album and one I'll be hanging on too. I hope that Charlie spreads his internet wings because this is a musician who deserves to be heard by a much wider audience than Bandcamp can provide on its own. On the strength of this excellent set, almost any of the major sites around would be happy to have a musician of this calibre hanging around. There are some note worthy tracks on here, and funnily enough they are not what I would have automatically chosen, just ones that finally wore in. Give Love Down Blues a few plays for example because this is an awesome song, in a equally stirring setting. So a couple of tentative Must Have's isn't that bad is it? (Note to Charlie, check out other sites!!)

Go, listen. Highly Recommended UK folk country thingie...

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