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GORDON WOOD SAMPLER
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HIGHWAY BLUES Jan 2012

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GORDON WOOD and PHIL BIRD - HIGHWAY BLUES (EP)
 
 
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SONGS CREDITS:- Highway Blues (Wood); Honey, You're Still On My Mind (Wood-Bird);
Gonna Make Her Mine (Wood-Bird); Do You Ever Get Lonesome (Wood) 

Produced by Gordon Wood and Phil Bird.  Recorded by Phil Bird at Birdsroost Studios, Cheltenham, UK

Gordon Wood - vocal, acoustic guitar, bass guitar
Phil Bird - acoustic lead guitar, slide, electric guitar, drums 

Released January 2012

 
REVIEW, August 2012
 
"Straight down the line, honest-to-goodness blues blockbusters comprise the tracks on this latest E.P. release from seasoned UK bluesman Gordon Wood and slick stringster Phil Bird. Sometimes in predatory mood, sometimes cajoling, but always convincing, the incomparable Wood growls and rasps his way through four new songs, two of them co-written with guitarist Bird.
The opener HIGHWAY BLUES, structured over a powerful, archetypal riff, has a noticeable nod to Dylan's early and recent blues modes. Wood's sometimes quirky but heartfelt lyrics reflect the existential crux so favoured by blues singers as he ponders the elusive vanishing point of indecision symbolised by the CD cover’s artwork. Next up HONEY, YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND has a laid-back country blues feel with appetizing moonshiner vocals from Wood, and Bird rolling out a ruminative slide guitar. GONNA MAKE HER MINE is a sassy southern-fried shuffle, while DO YOU EVER GET LONESOME charges up the dynamo again with a surefire bar-room shakedown.
Two bonus tracks present beefed-up 'electric versions' of the last two numbers, and raise things a notch with Bird on drums as well as acoustic and electric guitars: GONNA MAKE HER MINE gets the gut-bucket approach with a real sneaky snare beating up the backdrop, and DO YOU EVER GET LONESOME receives a dose of Texas thunder to round things off in style.
Wood, who plays acoustic guitar and bass, buttons up the blues like a favourite old overcoat. Bluff but inimitable, and steeped in the tradition and its timeless themes, you really feel he does get lonesome when the sun goes down. This is classic blues which proves the resilience of the genre and its generous response to fresh and authentic interpretations such as this. All tracks were produced jointly by Wood and Bird, who have worked together for many years, and recorded by Bird at his Birdsroost Studios in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire."
 Geoff Ward (freelance journalist)