The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

RICKY WARWICK - When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (and GUY MITCHELL SANG THE BLUES) + Hearts on Trees - Review

Nuclear Blast | Release Date: February 26 2016


BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

Two things immediately strike you about Ricky Warwick’s new pair of solo albums – the title of the first track ‘The Road to Damascus Street’ - a street in the capitol of his country of birth – Northern Ireland; and secondly how much he sounds like Phil Lynott on the first album especially. Fans will of course probably have already picked up the par at the end of 2014 via the original PledgeMusic campaign, but now they see release as a double album.

What you get here you see is a game of two halves with the first album -  - ‘When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues)’ coming on like the Black Star Riders/Thin Lizzy, full leather and denim and all electric; and  ‘Hearts On Trees’ taking a more wistful route through songwriting. It’s essentially fully clothed versus naked, or Rock Star versus Singer-Songwriter. Which you prefer will rather depend on your mood and inclination as the collection of songs is equally strong on each.

Starting with the infuriatingly-long titled disc which (like the second album) draws heavily on Warwick’s musical background  opener 'The Road To Damascus Street' rocks nicely alongside drinking song ‘Celebrating Sinking' – it’s a fiery start before the title track kicks in, both mourning and celebrating Warwick’s lost upbringing in a Lizzy-like melodic rocker. It’s a great start to the collection.

Elsewhere on the first disc it’s a familiar story – melodic hard rockers like ‘Toffee Town' which looks at Warwick’s move to Scotland, and 'That's Where The Story Ends' – rocking homage to one of Warwick's childhood heroes, the Lone Ranger. Things get a little punkier from hereon in with 'Johnny Ringo's Last Ride', a song about the adverse effects of alcohol, coming on with a belly full of fire. 'Gold along the Cariboo', though reverts to the Lizzy template and features some wonderful guitar by Richard Fortus. But the Punk is back for closing pair 'The Son of the Wind' and 'If You're Not Gonna Leave Me (I'll Find Someone Who Will)', evoking the power of The Almighty.

‘Hearts on Trees’ is another story entirely it starts off with the angry blues of 'Presbyterian Homesick Blues' and runs through the emotions, taking on the dolorous ‘Tank McCullough Saturdays';  the playfully worrying ‘Psycho’ (the only cover here); and the Joe Elliott backing vocals on the almost folky title track ‘Hearts on Trees’.

'Said Samson to Goliath' tells a colorful tale of Belfast beautifully; and ‘Way Too Cold For Snow' tells of break up, whilst 'Schwaben Redoubt' returns to the tale of soldiers echoing 'On The Road To Damascus Street', it also features Jake Burns of SLF.

'The Year of Living Dangerously' searches gently, and ‘Disasters' self-reflects before the final word goes to ‘82’ a song that fitting tells of young love ending the collection on an upbeat note.

Lyrically personal, strikingly different sonically but stunningly well-written – these are well worth adding to your collection.

Previously only released via Pledgemusic ‘When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang the Blues)’ and ‘Hearts on Trees’ are now available on Nuclear Blast.



by Mark Rockpit



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