Fred Abbot was the guitar and keyboard player with Noah & The Whale, a band who were tagged ‘pretentious’ sufficiently often that I overlooked them completely other than hearing a track or two on the radio, so after reading the PR email that arrived in the Beat Surrender inbox I was tempted not to dig any deeper, but curiosity took hold and I’m glad it did as this album is a real joy, a perfect summer rock ‘n’ roll record awash with catchy riffs, irresistible melodies and full of dashboard drumming sing-along songs for a road-trip – Roller optional.
Says Abbott of the album, “If you attended a Noah And The Whale soundcheck at any time in the last five years then you probably heard me, Urby, Mike and Tom jamming some of these songs. Last year while the band was on hiatus I took the opportunity to record them properly, with the boys from NATW and some other talented friends. Now that Noah has officially split the time seems right to put this stuff out there. Enjoy!”
Irish-born singer-songwriter Tony McLoughlin’s fifth release The Contender opens with the title-track a in-your-face guitar driven rock ‘n’ roller that grabs the listeners full attention, indeed The Contender is one of a number of tracks that merit turning the volume up to shake the windows ,the album sees McLoughlin working with the same rhythm section who he recorded with on his previous release, Ride The Wind, Ronnie O’Flynn (bass) and Michael Black (drums), they are joined by a further trio of guitarists Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Otis Gibbs, Mary Gauthier), Timo Gross and Mick McCarney with the keyboard skills of Belfast session man John McCullough completing the line-up. In-between the ‘rockers’ there are a number of quieter numbers that offer a balance to the album that wears it blue-collar American rock credentials with pride.
The album is self-released and available now along with his previous CD release directly from the man himself.