Following on from the success of their album release ‘Diff’rent Gravy’ Jamie Williams & The Roots Collective have just released a follow up full-length video.
Featuring footage from Round Tower Brewery, a microbrewery in their hometown of Chelmsford, who brewed a beer especially for the band named after the album.
The band are gigging every week up & down the country and are definitely one to go and see live.
Recent reviews of the album –
Fatea Magazine –
‘Little Black Book’ rattles in on chunky drums, bass, harp and riffs aplenty. The main line reminds me of Ocean Colour Scenes ‘Riverboat Song’ but there are lots going on underneath, particularly the brittle, slightly discordant sounding electric guitar licks while Jamie barks the words out with his sturdy, lived in voice.
‘I Don’t Wanna Break My Baby’s Heart’ is another guitar driven band track with Jamie’s vocal moving into Tom Petty territory, whereas ‘One Man Mission To Mars’ is a slower, almost Cajun-sounding affair.
‘Lonesome Howl From The Heart’ is good old-fashioned bar room blues which is followed by the acoustic, rootsy ‘Godsend’ for which Jamie adopts his nasally, Bob Dylan type tone..
‘Baddass And Lazy’ is back to the riff-driven blues and boasts some particularly fine harp before ‘Reaching For The Stars’ rings the changes musically, all space and atmosphere before diving into the overdriven chorus. For me, this track features Jamie’s most authentic vocal and seems to sit in his most natural range, which really carries the song through in style.
‘Saved’ is as good, if not better and shows the band in understated mode and although it’s another more acoustic-based number it still has a strong rhythmic pulse, and in both feel and tempo put me in mind of Bob Dylan’s ‘What Was It You Wanted’.
‘Bastard County’ is jaunty, modern country, ‘Voodoo Man’ more bar room rhythm and blues and the album closer ‘Understand’ shuffles along sweetly with Jamie again in Bob Dylan mode.
I’m not sure if this album was recorded live in the studio but it really does have a lovely, loose organic feel that I imagine is as near as dammit to seeing Jamie Williams And The Roots Collective in a venue nearby! The songs are catchy melodically and Jamie has an ear for a hook but could, I think, sharpen up his lyrics a bit here and there, particularly in the more obviously blues-based numbers. The other minor criticism is around some of his vocal mannerisms which tend to be a little derivative and occasionally sound like a parody of Bob Dylan, which probably isn’t a good thing. However, as a collective, they are rock solid throughout and the good stuff is very good, particularly ‘Reaching For The Stars’ and ‘Saved’ which for me showcase the best of the band, Jamie’s writing and voice.
All in all, great fun and at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, this album belted out live should be a treat indeed.
Rocking Magpie –
Quintessential British R&B With a Country Heart.
My father used to have a saying that I now use; “God acts in mysterious ways” and that may sum up why I selected this album to listen to last week.
First of all, the band name is a bit of a mouthful isn’t it and the sleeve isn’t exactly eye-catching but as soon as I heard that wailing harmonica and thumping bass on opening track Little Black Book I knew I was onto a winner.
For what should be a relatively simple Classic British R&B foot stomper there’s an awful lot going on behind Jamie Williams gut-wrenching vocal performance; not least Dave Milligan’s searingly hot guitar runs.
I Don’t Want To Break My Baby’s Heart which follows isn’t quite so earthy; more Manfred Mann than Dr Feelgood if you know what I mean; but a helluva corking love song though, but man.
Nothing here is ever anything less than interesting with a couple of cool acoustic tunes thrown in for good measure, with Godsend and Bastard County both being glorious toe-tapping Country Blues tunes of the highest order.
But it’s the glorious Rhythmic Blues of the electric persuasion that I’ve fallen in love with all over again with that harp from Nick Garner sending shivers down my spine on the chilling Voodoo Man (which also features the band on ‘harmonies’) and on Lonesome Howl From The Heart I was transported back to those drunken nights in the Red House on Newcastle’s dangerous Quayside long before it became gentrified.
While they obviously love 60’s British R&B and probably 70’s Pub Rock the band show that they aren’t a Retro Showband with Reaching For The Stars and One Man Mission To Mars which both fit in perfectly, but go off in spectacular new directions all of their own.
But; the title of RMHQ Favourite Song goes to a “Most Blues Wailing” song worthy of The Yardbirds, Feelgoods and even the Stones when they really were Rolling……..Baddass and Lazy is one of those songs that sounds great on record but will surely be a showstopper when played loud and at 100mph on stage. Williams sings from the heart over an industrial strength rhythm section and an electric guitar and harmonica that both need a bucket of cold water at the end of this spectacular 2 and a half minutes.
This is the music that first instilled my love of ‘The Blues’…..the quintessential British version and Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective aka JWRoots are every bit as good as anything that I’ve heard in the last twenty years; primarily because they aren’t trying to sound like anyone but themselves which is a winning formula at RMHQ.
The band are also playing at the iconic 100 Club in London this month.
For tickets contact firstname.lastname@example.org