Going down South, Canuck storyteller opens a second chapter in what can be a new series of adventures.
While there was a slight layer of self-awareness to Myles Goodwyn’s 2018 album – the APRIL WINE leader’s sophomore solo effort, his first in a score years – its follow-up, which appeared much sooner than anyone could hope for, is where the veteran truly lets rip with the “Friends Of The Blues” concept and moves it from Chicago cool to N’Awlins looseness. Driven by sheer excitement rather than haste and abetted by the elite force of his compatriots who live and breathe the titular genre, Myles committed to another round of sessions whence the Canadian artist emerged with an age-defying sense of freedom and a fine set of smile-busting, nicely subtitled pieces. Demonstrating not only enviable vim but also total abandon on the slowed-down shuffle of “It’s All Over Now” – the only cover on offer, it’s a perennial sign of good times being had – and a dozen of high-octane originals to assert that this return to roots was a right step forward, Goodwyn circles back to the essential elements of his craft yet wraps them in the ease of experience.
“Hip Hip” may seem inauspicious and tentative in its initial Delta roll before Kenny Wayne’s ivories ripple and swell to elevate Myles’ wail and allow bliss to sip into his reminiscences, but once such a roll has gained momentum the patina spots start to sparkle and evaporate, so the sweet fatigue behind “Like A Dog Ain’t Had Its Day” will prove to be deceptive, with Ross Billard’s piano spilling cinematic gloom on the track. It doesn’t matter how despondent Goodwyn sounds on “When Your Ship Came In (I Was At The Airport Drinking)” and how he propels “I Saw Someone That Wasn’t There (And It Was You)” away from this sorrow, there’s sincerity behind the public-teasing facade. Boisterous on “Help Me Baby” and “Daddy Needs New Shoes” or intimate on “Being Good (Won’t Do Us Any Good Tonight)” – graced by Angel Forrest’s presence – and “You Got It Bad” which show two different aspects of his effusive take on blues, the veteran is establishing a fresh bond with the listener now.
With mesmeric swamp drone to the otherwise stark “Fish Tank Blues” which sees Myles dig the deepest to reveal his view of the traditional idiom, and with romantic vibe running through “Sick And Tired (Of Being Sick And Tired Over You)” where Goodwyn’s gruff vocals shine the brightest, his second guests-infested album is a source of new possibilities. Hopefully, its continuation will appear shortly.