Neil Bob Herd & The Dirty Little Acoustic Band – Every Soul a Story
Format: CD – LP – Digital
Label: Cattlecall Music
Releasedatum: 14 februari 2020
‘Every Soul a Story’ is the debut solo album from Neil Bob Herd, formerly guitarist / vocalist / songwriter in the acclaimed “alt Bluegrass” band, The Coal Porters.
Adding a little more twang and electricity to the ‘Porters acoustic palette, the same songwriting acumen, wry humour and sideways observation of the human condition is very much in evidence. As the title suggests, ‘Every Soul a Story’ features a cast of real and invented characters pondering faith, reincarnation, betrayal, hope and plain old “getting friendly”.
‘Every Soul a Story’ was recorded “Basement Tapes” style in the band’s East Kent “gang hut” with producer Dan Swift (Snow Patrol, Aqualung, British Sea Power).
Songs as stories is a recurring theme, from the rural idyll gone south of ‘Bad Land’, to the elegiac WW1 lilt of ‘Colour of History’, via the brotherly affection of ‘Leave Only Love (Old Dog)’ and ‘Coming Back as Jason’ to the laconic romance of ‘Exactly What I Wanted’ and the idealistic longing of ‘Light a Single Candle’.
Other highlights include the almost titular ‘Book Inside Them’, the time travelling satire of ‘Well, Well’ and the headstrong rocking love-rush of “As Much As I Need To’ and ‘Best Song’.
“Herd’s songs are muscular and earthy” Blabber ‘n’ Smoke
Although Neil Bob Herd may be familiar as guitarist / vocalist with Alt. bluegrassers The Coal Porters, he also steps out as a solo act, performing original material in the roots/Americana vein, but with a distinct brogue – some years ago the venerable Proclaimers convinced the young NBH that he should sing in a geographically non-specific Scots accent.
Having played in a selection of Scottish outfits, he came to London and hooked up with various acts on the busking / alternative cabaret scene, spent a few years as “Scots Billy Bragg” before deciding to focus on music after an unnamed Scottish comedy producer unwisely suggested abandoning the guitar…. forming pre-grunge power trio Handsome.
His various musical adventures included co-ordinating 25 ‘Louie-Louie’ playing guitarists for comic & provocateur Mark Thomas, developing a steel guitar habit – precipitating a memorable summer spent in the Hank Williams bio-musical Pills Thrills & Backaches (“Hank” became Count Arthur Strong…), and a brief tenure in suit-rockers Avalanche (“Marti Pellow meets the Bad Seeds…”). Neil then relented and formed a new outfit The Trophy Husbands, playing proper twanging country music, which eventually led to his being co-opted into Sid Griffin’s Western Electric and The Coal Porters so, after playing acoustic bluegrass for nearly two happy decades, Neil’s first solo effort involves him plugging in and turning up (just enough) along with fellow ex-Porter and multi-instrumentalist Paul Fitzgerald and seasoned Kentish / Caledonian rhythm section Glenn Lamberton (bass) and Gary Smith Lyons (drums). Guest players Lucy Edwards (accordion, ex-Well Oiled Sisters) and Gemma White (fiddle, another ex-Porter).
01. Bad Land
02. As Much As I Need To
03. The Colour of History
04. Leave Only Love (Old Dog)
05. Light a Single Candle
06. Book Inside Them
07. Well, Well
08. Coming Back as Jason
09. Exactly What I Wanted* ** *
10. Best Song (3:39)
All songs by Neil Robert Herd
except * ** * by Neil Robert Herd & Kerenza Peacock
Website: Neil Bob Herd