Scene & Heard - CD Review
Review Taken From Issue 254- August 2018

There are currently several people who write regular reviews for the magazine;
but unbiased reviews from other individuals are always welcome.

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C D Review

Bo Walton: Break On Out
(also available on Vinyl) released in April 2017 on Jump Jack Records

By Trevor Noddles, Thrapston Northants.

What can I say about the talent of Bo Walton, other than the professionalism that oozes from the 11 original tracks laid down on Break On Out. Written by Bo in collaboration with other writers, including John David, or his old man, Ron Walton, (who has mentored him through his musical career). Also John David for his exemplary production and studio work, at Berry Hill studio on the edge of the Forest of Dean. I've nothing but admiration for Bo as he does his own thing. So there's nothing to compare to, though aspects of his work are heavily inspired and influenced by Country, Rockabilly and Rock 'n' Roll. He's able to cross over the genres and appeal to one and all with his music and showmanship.

Most of the UK Rock 'n' Roll acts tend to favour either Foottappin' Records Embassy studio in Hampshire, or Alan Wilson's Western Star at Bristol, so I mused why does Bo favour Jump Jack Records? Is it because Jump Jack is local to his home? To solve this puzzle I consulted the on-line oracle known as the World Wide Web and found the answer. Before setting up a recording studio, the multi-instrumentalist and owner of Berry Hill studio, Welshman John David was the bass player and backing vocalist in Dave Edmunds' first major group, Love Sculpture. Thereon he concentrated on song writing and sound engineering, working with household names such as Andy Fairweather-Low, Cliff Richard, Shakin' Stevens, Alvin Stardust and Status Quo. So how's about that for a pedigree! John David virtually knows the sound Bo wants before he even steps in the studio. It's known simply as 'telepathy and empathy' hence why several of the tracks he's either written, or co-written.

Whilst Bo has worked the length and breadth of England and Wales, it's high time the European promoters put him on their rosters. In America the English born promoter, Tom Ingram at Viva Las Vegas should have Bo's name pencilled at the top of his 'want to sign' acts. Musicians included on eight of the eleven tracks are members of Red Alert who support him on the road with the Welshmen Steve Oz (lead guitar), and Kevin Davidge (bass), plus Gloucester's Phil Greenhouse (drums). In addition Bo's on backing vocals and the adopted 'Forester' John David (backing vocals, guitar & bass). Opening up with 'Goodbye Heart' here's an old-time big fat Rock 'n' Roll school sound driven by piano with a honking tenor saxophone, riffing away then taking a useful lead solo. 'Goodbye Heart' is one of the three tracks not featuring the regular musicians besides Bo (vocals), Steve Oz (guitar), Greg 'Boom Boom' Bishop (drums). Greg was the regular drummer prior to Phil stepping in. The backing vocals were shared by Bo, John David and Greg, supported by John David (bass), Jon Watson (keyboard) and Lyndon Owen (tenor saxophone).

'Don't Wake Me Up' is a driving Rocking Country flavoured number. Besides Bo's quality vocal work it includes clever key changes, lead breaks and prominent guitar work. This track is the second of the three with different musicians. On this occasion Bo Walton is on vocals, John David (backing vocals, guitar, bass & drums), also on guitar was the late legendary Mickey Gee who was behind so much of Dave Edmunds work. 'Forever True' is a Country flavoured number with great vocals and guitar work. 'Better Than This' I consider is also very Country influenced. 'Hookin' Up' is a fifties influenced number I could also imagine Dave Edmunds including in one of his sets, as it includes several slides similar to those used by him. 'The AWOLS' with some really neat guitar picking opened a neat and tidy track with some of the vocals being virtually chanted. 'Dream Again' is a song that would be equally at home in a Western movie.

'Love In Disguise' features the love of Bo's life, Elaine Walton, who I had the pleasure of meeting two years ago in Hereford when Bo, Red Alert plus Ronnie & The Reverbs shared the same bill. Bo & Elaine have formed a duet on vocals on a number reminiscent and typical of an early Everly Brothers type of sound. 'I'll Still Be Lovin' You' is another highly influenced Country number. 'I Quit Quittin' has good lyrics that feature detail of kicking very bad habits. The ultimate song on the album is John David's 'Just A Country Boy', the third number with a different array of musicians. This time, Bo (vocals), John David & Ray Martinez (backing vocals), John David & Andy Fairweather-Low (acoustic guitars), Ray Martinez (electric rhythm guitar), Mickey Gee (electric lead guitar), John David & Ray Martinez, (pianos), John David (double bass) not forgetting Dave Charles (drums). What a recording session that must have been!

To conclude this report I must emphatically say, that anyone reading this article, whether a Rock 'n' Roll, Country or Rockabilly fan must have a copy of Break On Out in their collection, no if's, but's, or maybe's! If you haven't purchased a copy from Bo at a gig or are hoping to purchase one during the 2018 Break Out On tour, get on line straight away and order one from Amazon.

 

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