Released through Heroic Records, the latest album from country-rock guitar hero Albert Lee is a blend of classy countrified cover songs and well written original material that shows – even at 70 – that Albert Lee still has what it takes.
The latest release in a long career that saw him start out as a guitarist with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, ‘Frettening Behaviour’ is released at the same time as Lee is gearing up for his 70th Birthday celebrations – including an all star concert which is on the horizon – and it is astounding how much his qualities have not dipped. In an era where legends such as Paul McCartney are criticised for losing their live spark, it takes a lot of talent to continues playing at the highest level (Stevie Wonder being another example). But Albert Lee and his band Hogan’s Heroes, stacked with veteran talent of the country and roots world, show that class is permanent.
The album is a mix of easy listening, rhythm & blues (not to be confused with R’N’B…) and pared back country-roots music. Something of an acquired taste perhaps, but brilliantly delivered by this collective.
Something of a mission statement, the opening song is a cover of Greenday’s ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’, performed with a country gusto that gives the well known song a complete refresh. Other covers, including a great new version of The Everly Brothers’ ‘No One Can Make My Sunshine Smile’, have a comforting familiarity about them. Meanwhile, some of the new songs penned by band members are every bit as strong, marking this out as an album that should come highly recommended for country-philes…..