Starlite Campbell Band – Music News

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Superton (label)

November 05, 2021 (published)

October 02, 2021

Suzy Starlite & Simon Campbell form the heart of the Starlite Campbell group with drummer Steve Gibson and Jonny Henderson on (many) keyboards. It’s only their second album – the first was “Blueberry Pie” in February 2017 – but their sound is classic blues rock with great melodies and quite a bit of a sense of “Pop”.

It was recorded very moving as they moved from the Isle of Man to Germany, Spain and finally Portugal, but it sounds really solid, cohesive and very much like a band working together.

Unusually these days, all songs have meaning and purpose. Not just more chatter about love/sex etc, the lyrics are worth listening to. Mind you, the music is too, and as someone who’s mostly focused on music, it’s really satisfying.

The album traces styles from the early sixties to the eighties, but still that great rhythm section of Suzy’s bass and Steve’s drums that hold the center and propel the music forward.

It all starts with ‘Distant Land’, a searing rocker with a great beat and stunning guitar work. The harmonies in the break are nostalgic and subtly hammer home the message about the refugee crisis. “Gaslight” has a wonderful Faces-style groove with excellent slide from Simon and terrific honky-tonk Wurlitzer piano from Gabriele Del Vecchio.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is the title track. Tracing back to the sixties and early seventies in its sound with Simon and Suzy’s electric 12-string playing the mighty Mellotron and Phiicorder, insistent drum beats and tambourine throwing the sound back to the heyday of TOTP and Sounds Of The Seventies. All this and in one way or another, it also touches a lot “today”.

If you like a real rocker, head to ‘Said So’, a lot even though the subject matter is rather darker than the sound of the song – the horrors of addiction. The fuzzy guitar solo is stunning. They can play subtly as well as they do on ‘Take Time To Grow Old’, a melancholic look at the loss of old people before their time. Nice harmonies and a beautiful Hammond line underpinning the whole thing, emphasizing the emotional side.

The most unexpected number is “Ride On Cowboy” sung by Suzy and with a drawling, almost discoid funk, very funny.

10 great tracks and an album you can dive into or play around with. Top stuff.

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