Hear The Track HereFor those people who follow such things, Ralph Atkinson is one of the names touched on in 2010's Stevies (as a mover and shaker) but there is so much more there than that bald fact. Point of fact, Ralph just missed getting major kudos last year and I'm sure 2011 is going to put that right. Although I have known this Canadian guitarist/songwriter since I reviewed Building A Time Machine (October 2009), it wasn't until mid-2010 that he really started hitting a roll IMO. Then Spaghetti Western Serenade (October 2010), a collaboration with Larry Ludwick on Failing (also October 2010), Firefly (November 2010) and Winterkill showed that he was really hitting the high spot. Each track still lives on my hard drive.
I think, because of my background, I am predisposed to like musicians like Ralph and that can often make me somewhat effusive (Ed: you don't say...) and that irritates some folk. Well, I like what I like innit? I have no choice in the matter. If I prefer Ralph's extremely easy on the ear style and approach to a four-to-the-floor bangah, that's the way it is. So nnnrrr. I like Ralph especially when he's at the blues, and obviously - given the title - this comes under that category. Although I appreciate most areas of the blues in general, rock blues is absolutely my all time fave, both to hear and play.
Yesterday's Blues, with it's echo of Clapton, Steve Miller and all points west, is exactly what he should have come out with after the brace of tracks I mentioned above. Put it this way, if any of those tracks finally convinced you that Ralph Atkinson is a musician to be taken very seriously, this will only confirm it. Chill, the man says, and chill is what you get but such a warn, comforting chill you could stay there forever. Top of the unsigned line for performance, production and overall songwriting ability. Knockout.
MUST HAVE rock blues.