craftsmanship by troubadours Wille & The Bandits on new album ‘Paths’
After following Wille & The Bandits for over 4 years and experiencing these innate musical troubadours more than twenty times during live performances, it is an honor to provide our opinion about the long-awaited new album Paths (to be released on February 1st, 2019).
The sound of the music on this fifth album of this sympathetic trio approaches the live experience and energy as close as it might get in a studio. During the last tour, the majority of the new album was already part of the set list. We witnessed how songs like ‘Chakra’, ‘Make Love’, ‘Victim of the Night’, ‘Watch You Grow’ and ‘Judgement Day’ grew over the last year and how this in the end now is reflected on this album.
What makes the recorded versions of the compositions extra interesting is the addition of several keyboard and Hammond organ arrangements to the album. On top of the keyboard also the inclusion of background vocals, cello and string arrangements and a huge variety of different types of percussion instruments gives the majority of the songs an extra flavor.
Wille Edwards is a socially aware human being and is very explicit about what he believes is going on in the world of today. For example, his concerns about Mother Earth are on several occasions shared on the album.
The combination of musical craftsmanship, well thought
through arrangements and a positive message makes ‘Paths’ an interesting and
must have album for aficianados of honest and energetic blues-rock and roots music.
The album starts with three strong blues-rock based songs. ‘One Way’ invites to an audience participation song. ‘Make Love’ has a funky grooving style and gives a good remedy for all the political driven events happening in the western world. ‘Victim Of The Night’ sounds very catchy and the addition of the Hammond organ in combination with guest vocals by Alex Hart works very well.
The very sensitive ballad ‘Four Million Days’, introduced by cello, shows Wille Edwards’ awesome and honest vocals going deep to the bone. ‘Chakra’ shows the ingenuity of Andrew Naumann’s percussive abilities combined with spacious bottleneck guitar and exemplary strong bass and cello by Matt Brooks.
Brooks steals the show on ‘Keep It On The Down’ with a funky bass and Wille shows he can also act as a rapper. In contrast with the rockers ‘Judgement Day’ and ‘Find My Way’, we could feel the pain Wille Edwards still feels from the loss of Chris Cornell in the story told in ‘How Long’.
The autobiographic ‘Watch You Grow’ is maybe the most balanced song of the album which combines the raw honest vocals with great guitar arrangements, recognizable bass and accompanied rhythms. With this song Wille Edwards honors his two daughters.
The album’s closer ‘Retribution’ is the evidence a UK based band plays also authentic Southern Rock music. Wille & The Bandits proves with this album to be a gem in the current blues-rock and roots scene and deserves to be recognized and honestly valued by the wider audience.