Alvin Lee -Still On The Road to Freedom
28 August, 2012. Alvin’s newest CD, Still On the Road to Freedom has been released on Rainman Records in the USA and in Europe on Repertoire Records.
The album takes listeners on a trip through time, embracing Alviin’s love of roots music with everything from rock n’ roll to blues to jazz to funk , led by his outstanding guitar work and a delicious groove that adds a cohesiveness to the varied styles. Still On the Road to Freedom is available at online retailers, dowload sites and in stores.
Read on for reviews of the album, and then catch some of the new interviews with Alvin discussing it.
Michael Doherty’s Music Log
Alvin Lee: “Still On The Road To Freedom” (2012) CD Review
You probably know Alvin Lee from his work with Ten Years After. That band will be forever famous for its wild set at Woodstock, immortalized in the documentary film (that version of “I’m Going Home” is one of the film’s highlights), as well as for the song “I’d Love To Change The World” which reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In some ways, Alvin Lee’s new album, Still On The Road To Freedom, feels like a reaching back, a looking back to the late ’60s. But this is not a nostalgia record. It is not an attempt to recapture an earlier success, but seems more like a way to show the connection between the past and the present (and to explore both), something acknowledged in the album’s title. And there is a freedom this album takes to move along the musical time line and use whatever seems right. The album definitely has a heavy blues edge. (One of its tracks, “Blues Got Me So Bad,” has these wonderful lines: “I said I’d die for you, babe/She said, that’s what I want you to do.”) But this is not strictly a blues album. There is a lot more going on here. There is rock and rockabilly and folk, and it all comes together well. (By the way, “Nice & Easy” sounds like T. Rex meets Dire Straits.)
All of the album’s songs were written by Alvin Lee. As for the idea of going back, there is a track called “Back In 69,” (but it is more about the present than its title might suggest), and the final track is a remake of a tune from Ten Years After’s 1970 album Cricklewood Green. Some of these tunes are pretty short. Tracks 2, 7, 8, 11, and 12 are all under two and a half minutes. There is a hidden song which starts at 5:33 on track 13 (it’s a very short acoustic instrumental tune).
“Still On The Road To Freedom”
Still On The Road To Freedom opens with its title track, which finds Alvin Lee journeying “for a distant land where it all began.” And yes, Alvin Lee’s guitar still has that great late ’60s, early ’70s sound. It has that drive, that reach for new territory, an interest in exploration and expression that characterized a lot of the best music of the time. And the guitar is given the freedom to stretch out here, in the song’s best section toward the end. The only thing I could do without is the echoes of “freedom.”