Skip to main content

MUSIC Album reviews with Tony Burke

Reviews of Beatles cover versions, Super Chiken and Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean and King King

Looking Through a Glass Onion
The Beatles Psychedelic Songbook 1966-1972
(Grapefruit)
★★★★

THE BEATLES’ Revolver, Sgt Pepper, White Album, Magical Mystery Tour and Abbey Road sets provided the source for countless cover versions and reworkings of Lennon and McCartney‘s album tracks and this 3CD set features some of the more adventurous and radical reworkings of their songbook.

Among them are covers from well-known artists such as Deep Purple, The Hollies, Yes, The Tremoloes, along with a spaced-out Duffy Power, avant-garde sax man Lol Coxhill, rockers Stone The Crows, Spooky Tooth and prog rockers Affinity — all doing I Am The Walrus — The Shadows, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers and guitar virtuoso Davy Graham. And Dame Vera Lynn.

There are lots of unknowns who had a go too —  Jawbone, Episode Six and Trucial States.

With 68 tracks, a 40-page booklet, memorabilia, rare labels and photos, it’s a real Magical Mystery Tour.

Super Chiken and Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean
From Hill Country Blues to Mississippi Delta Blues
(Wolf Records)
★★★★

JAMES JOHNSON — aka Super Chiken — lives in Clarksdale Mississippi and performs solo and with his band the Fighting Cocks.

Chiken is unique in making his own guitars — some from from cigar boxes — which he hand-paints and musically he creates a unique driving slide blues sound.

Terry “Harmonica” Bean hails from the north Mississippi Hill Country and has appeared in two great documentary films about the Mississippi blues.

They share 15 tracks recorded in the field in Pontotoc (Bean) and Clarksdale (Chiken) in 2018 and this is gutbucket blues as played for the patrons of sweltering juke joints, with Bean playing classics like Black Cat Bone and Walkin’ Blues, while Chiken is on blistering form with tributes to bluesmen Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Elmore James.

The Mississippi blues are alive and well,

King King
Maverick
Channel 9 Music
★★★

THE fifth album from the Britain’s top blues-rock outfit King King, Maverick follows 2017’s critically acclaimed album Exile & Grace — it was Classic Rock’s magazine’s Blues Album of the Year.

Maverick was cut in King King’s home town of Glasgow and it’s the debut recording on their own label.

“I named the album Maverick at a time when it was risky to do so,” says band leader Alan Nimmo.

“I made some bold moves and changes from band members to behind-the-scenes stuff. I guess that’s who I am. I’m a risk-taker.”

All the songs bar one were co-written by the band, which features a new line-up with the kilt-wearing Nimmo on guitar and vocals.  

There are two singles on the album — I Will Never Fail which got plenty of airplay on Planet Rock and Never Give In, which is likely to follow suit.

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 10,322
We need:£ 7,678
8 Days remaining
Donate today