Album Reviews

Cold River Lady – Better Late Than Never

Released By:  Angel Air Music  –  Out Now

Genre: Folk Rock

Links : http://angelair.co.uk/spjcd324.htm

Lineup:

The band had many, many different lineups, getting the information on which exact lineup is featured on this disc is nearly impossible


Tracklist:

1. English Graffiti

2. The Promise

3. Something

4. Soft Spot Rest

5. Routing Through The Quagmires

6. Hereford Girls

7. Sauna Bath Blues

8. The Travellers

9. October Love

10. Far In The Fields

11. Living The Lazy Way


Angel Air Music are a label I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with at the moment. On one hand I have really enjoyed a lot of their re-issue type material which includes bands like MARSHALL LAW, DAVID BYRON BAND, ROBIN GEORGE and a few others. On the other hand however, I have been quite unsatisfied with a lot of the material they are releasing that is either new recordings or never before released rare albums from largely unknown artists from the United Kingdom. The latest release from COLD RIVER LADY actually falls into a couple of these categories, being originally recorded in 1991 and now being released by the folk at Angel Air.

The usual trimmings are all here, from the high quality of the audio down to the informative and thick booklet that features all of the lyrics, some rare photographs and a bit of a back story on how the band came about, and as usual there is nothing to fault with this element of the product. The music itself however didn’t do much for me at all and I’m finding it hard to work out exactly who it would appeal to. To help describe the album I will borrow an excerpt from the Angel Air website…

COLD RIVER LADY were discovered by PETE BROWN (who wrote the lyrics for CREAM’s major Hits ‘Sunshine Of Your Love, White Room’, I Feel Free’) in the spring of 1971 and he was very taken with CRL’s song writing efforts and offered them a publishing deal with his company. Over the next few years Pete worked with the band producing a number of demos and encouraging them to turn full time professional.

The band got a residency at The Greyhound, Fulham, London then went off to Europe to tour but they never got that elusive record deal and the band disbanded in 1976. In 1991 Pete formed his own production company (Interoceter Records) and asked the band to reform to record an album and ‘Better Late Than Never’ is the result of that reformation producing an album ‘that has a strong folk influence, but sophisticated flavours from the likes of Arthur Lee, Tim Buckley and Caravan were also present in the mix’”

The dual male/female vocals that occupy a majority of the songs are quite haunting in places and probably the highlight of the album. I have a pretty broad spectrum when it comes to what music I like, but the songwriting on BETTER LATE THAT NEVER leaves a lot to be desired.  All I can suggest is that if you have enjoyed any of the previous releases from this label, at least go and check out some samples of this one, there must be a market for it somewhere, I’m just not sure where to find it.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating: 5/10

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