Tag Archives: Thunderhead

KEITH ELFORD & THE WEEKEND KINGS — Land of the Living

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.

Doug Lip
7 of 10 original songs that Keith wrote with his pal, the much missed local guitar-hero Doug Lipinski (Doug Lip)…

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.

KEITH ELFORD AND THE WEEKEND KINGS
KEITH ELFORD AND THE WEEKEND KINGS – dark energy and smoky genius…

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.

Keith Elford
Keith Elford – “Afghanistan” is based upon the real-life experiences of his stepson…

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.

Land of the Living by Keith Elford and the Weekend Kings is OUT NOW

Link: https://www.facebook.com/KeithElfordWeekendKings/

Thunderhead at Staines

Thunderhead – the locally-based classic rock quartet, visited Staines last night for their very first performance.

The band, with Keith Elford on vocals and guitar, Doug Lipinski on lead guitar, John Hiles on drums and Nick Potter on bass have been writing and rehearsing hard in the months leading up to this concert.

The chosen venue for the inaugural show was the Star in Kingston Road – the newly decorated and freshly invigorated public house (once the North Star) – which now has the svelte and swish look of a cocktail bar about it. The drinks were excellent, the staff were wonderful and the place looked spacious and welcoming.

Thunderhead - snarling chords and squeezed guitar licks...
Thunderhead – snarling chords and squeezed guitar licks…
Thunderhead promised to bring us some rarely played covers – but they started sensibly with an accurate representation of “Free Fallin” (Tom Petty, 1989) – this was very well received by the enthusiastic crowd.

Some other numbers – we perhaps expected them from the ex-Blue Fuses and ex-Zapped! players – also went down well… These included ‘Layla’ (Derek and the Dominos) and “Comfortably Numb” (someone near us said, “I love this one by the Scissor Sisters …”

But for us the stand-out number was “Rocky Mountain Way” (Joe Walsh, 1973) from ‘The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get’ with those snarling chords and squeezed guitar licks.

Of course, this version did not have any honky-tonk piano – but it still had all the tense attitude of those curled lip vocals, and all the dirty demeanour of the original song.

And we enjoyed the soulful nuances of “Because the Night” (Springsteen / Smith) and the gritty cynicism of “Money for Nothing”.

And of course, we were also treated to “Doctor Doctor” – introduced as the only publicly recognized song by the British hard rock band UFO – (it’s true) and played (at the time) by Michael Schenker on guitar and Phil Mogg on vocals. Both Doug (Thunderhead lead guitar) and Keith (Thunderhead vocals) rose to the occasion – they did not let this really great song down.

And special mention must go to John for his excellent drum work on “Radar Love” (Golden Earing) – now it’s not often you hear that song these days!

Passionate acoustic strumming from Keith, combined with tight drum-work and enthusiastically efficient bass-playing – all added to the overall quality of the sound. And, as expected, the work from lead-guitarist – Doug – was exquisite.

Energetic and powerfully re-created treasures from the history of rock – with supremely efficient guitars and vocals, so smoky, they made us choke.

Words and pictures by: @neilmach © 2014

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/Thunderheadclassicrock/