KEITH ELFORD AND THE WEEKEND KINGS has become the name of a project to create an album of guitarist & singer-songwriter Keith’s original songs.
The album, “Land of the Living” launched on 28th June 2019 features 7 of 10 original songs that Keith wrote with his pal and the much missed local guitar-hero Doug Lipinski (Doug Lip) who passed away unexpectedly in 2016.
The band also includes all members of his band, Thunderhead (Russell Ayres, John Hiles, Stuart Sollors) plus Simon Davies and Stuart Picton, with the participation of Major Baldini and Mick Rogers.
The album is produced by Major Baldini and Simon Davies.
We had a listen:
The album begins with the thumping basser “Mojo Back” and perhaps a cynical acknowledgment of the stumbles and pitfalls of making music. Although the blues tone and riffwork on this number are quite simple, there is an acid guitar that cuts through the piece to bring a portion of world-weary skepticism.
“Everybody’s Doing It” is a rock and roll jangler with a touch of darkness around the generous edges, although it also incorporates a lot of enthusiasm. This has a West Coast feel, like something from the Steve Miller band of the 70s.
“Mr Charming” is perhaps one of the most successful songs on the album. Certainly, it contains dark energy and smoky genius. The ginger root ‘n’ cookie-glue voice is remonstrative and persuasive, while the convincing twists of guitar add drama and compulsion. This reminds us of the sad grandeur of Tom Petty’s compositions.
English rock guitarist Mick Rogers (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) plays the guitar on “Afghanistan” a song that’s based upon the real-life experiences of Keith’s stepson James’ first tour.
With its hearty and cheerful choral introduction, this is like a good bar song that’s overheard as you pass a tavern, but in reality it is a study about the futility of a war that can’t be won and, ultimately, the denunciation of unfathomable junkets.
Guitars froth and boil and the percussion is punctilious. This swings like a Bagram incense burner in an exedra. But when the smoulder dies away — it leaves a bitter taste.
It may not be surprising that there are consignment songs on this album that sound reconciled. So, aptly, “Dust and Water” spirals earthbound and is suitably melancholic. The voice is poignant and dark as walnut smoke. There is a persuasive guitar solo and finesse achieved in the detailed composition. This song symbolizes the mortality and elevation of this fine album.
Thank you to Keith and pals for their continued stewardship of Doug’s memory — this is an album to be proud of and it deserves a place alongside your collection that probably already includes discs from: The Traveling Wilburys, The Cars and Jackson Browne.