Jamie Thyer – Excelsior
(Road Dog Records – 2020)
An amazing bluesmen from Bath, Somerset who has graced the stage with a rather impressive set of legends over the years like Peter Green, Robin Trower, Wilko Johnson and Walter Trout with his band The Worried Men. This sees the man go solo mode in another band he has assembled where he takes care of the guitar duties.
Alongside Mr. T is Ant F. Biggs (Bass Guitar), Sheldon Gould (Vocals), Julie Richards (Chanteuse/Harmonica) & Robert Brian (Rhythm Consultant/Narration/Percussion). It has been Produce by none other than Phil Andrews (who has played with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page & Hugh Cornwell) at NAM Studios in Holt, Wilshire who has given the album a really warm sound that you associate with 70's vinyl albums.
'Excelsior' is a mix of both vocal songs and instrumentals in equal measures which is something that's rather out of the ordinary these days and a real turn up for both the speakers and the ears. There are quite a few different variations of styles to be found here with some numbers magically mixed west coast rock with blues like the opening 'Aces And Eights' where the temple is raised to the ground or the more dare I say traditional sounding crunchy instrumental that has a cool, uplifting and bright section going by the title of 'Split Diamond'.
You'll be struck with the killer cut called 'Miracle Alley' that is like the guitar chord of AC/DC's 'Who Made Who' turned into a another hard driving blues rocker with Jamie reminding me of Ronnie Wood in sound and style in various parts or the jazzed up blues of 'The Cat That Walks By Themself' where the narrative comes in and big full-sounding female vocals that fit the song perfectly.
The album closes on the charming and calming acoustic meets electric, loving and flowing vibed 'Uno Mas' which is extremely alluring and soothing with some really enchanting solo work from Mr. Thyer which gives the likes of Clapton and Knopfler a run for their money.
One of those albums you get sent that really makes your day when you put it on!
By Glenn Milligan