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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Like A Radio'
Artist - Matthews Southern Comfort

For those not in the know, Iain Matthews is an English musician and songwriter. He was a singer with Fairport Convention before forming his own band, Matthews Southern Comfort, which had a UK number one in 1970 with a cover version of Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock".

Born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, Matthews was known in the 1960s as Ian McDonald, then as Ian Matthews. In 1989, he reverted to the original spelling of his first name.

Influenced by both rock and roll and folk music, he has performed mainly as a solo act, although he was a member of Fairport Convention during the early period when they were heavily influenced by American folk rock.

He later had a solo career and led the bands Plainsong, Hi-Fi, No Grey Faith, More Than A Song, and the aforementioned Matthews Southern Comfort.

Now, and some 50 years since that initial Matthews Southern Comfort album, Matthews has just released his quite brilliant new album, Like A Radio via MVD Audio, this past February 23rd, 2018.

1. 'The Thought Police'
2. 'Like A Radio'
3. 'The Age Of Isolation'
4. 'Bits And Pieces'
5. 'Darcy Farrow'
6. 'Crystals On The Glass'
7. 'Been Down So Long'
8. 'Jive Pajamas'
9. 'Phoenix Rising'
10. 'To Love'
11. 'Right As Rain'
12. 'Chasing Rainbows'
Bonus Tracks:
13. 'Something In The Way She Moves'
14. 'A Heartless Night'
15. 'Your Cake And Eat It'

An album that is a definitive bow down and worship testament to the timeless quality of Americana themes, both here today and in days gone by, Like A Radio's 12 tracks are as much required listening now as any of Matthews' work was back then.

Joined by multi-instrumentalist Bart Jan Baartmans, keyboardist Bart de Win and singer/songwriter Eric Devries, they all combine to evoke a folk-rooted, vocal harmony-laden musical era that still lives and breathes successfully today. Albeit one that might have lost is radio play popularity over the past few decades, Americana is most definitely still around and judging by this new album, ready for a new burst of life.

The slow melodic climb of 'The Thought Police' kicks everything off nicely and that's backed by the storytelling of the title track, and then the restlessness of 'The Age of Isolation.' The mid tempo 'Bits and Pieces' is a perky joy to behold and is followed by the dulcet piano workings of both 'Darcy Farrow' and Moody Bluesesque 'Crystals on the Glass.'

The ravished story of 'Been Down so Long' is backed by the finger-snappin' fun of 'Jive Pyjamas' and then comes the languished beauty of 'Phoenix Rising.' A '60s vibe is brought more to the fore on 'To Love', before the pace is tempered back down on the lovelorn ballad 'Right as Rain.' The album then comes to a close with the mid tempo bounce of 'Chasing Rainbows,' which, as it turns out, is the most perfect track to close on, tempo wise.

That said, there are also some delightful bonus tracks here to be enjoyed. Indeed, the three additional remakes are from earlier MSC releases (including James Taylor's 'Something in the Way She Moves'), and mean that the album's run time fantastically clocks out at just over an hour.

CD Purchase Link