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THERE’S a surprisingly rich variety to this debut song collection by the gifted Midlands balladeer Ryan Brookes, whose talent becomes all the more apparent given that he plays most instruments on this recording — an enterprise usually reserved for the foolhardy or self-deluded.
Dan Booth of Ferocious Dog lends a masterful hand on violin in his widely acclaimed inimitable style and fellow Dog Ken Bonsall chips in expertly with colourful backing vocals.
But it is Brookes’s voice’s warm timbre and tonal range that carries the emotive load in each and every song, from the chirpy Own Sweet Way or City Lights to the confessional and majestic Find A Way.
The fatalistic Vice (Is Where the Devil Finds His Darlings) and Red Light Alley are wonderful.
On this showing, the only way is up for the multi-talented Brookes.
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