If ever there was a road made for rock 'n roll driving it is that long stretch of tarmac on Route 62 that snakes its way from Worcester all the way to Oudtshoorn – and that's where I thumped the steering wheel most of the way as I listened to Chris Rea stomping out some of the best real old style rock songs he has ever produced.
Man oh man, what an album! He sure as hell found his old well-worn leather jacket, biker boots and faded jeans when he put together this collection.
Good guitar work, a strong solid beat and a voice that dominates everything else just forced me to crank the volume up higher and higher. With the kilometres flying by I wanted to clap my hands, shout, sing along and stomp my feet... which is kinda difficult when you are driving. But if you don't want to do the same when you listen to the opening song, Dancing My Blues Away, then there is something seriously wrong with you.
Next up is another song to please an old joller's soul…..just the name Rock and Roll Tonight tells the story.
From here the beat goes on to Never Tie Me Down and although he starts mellowing a bit The Last Open Road and Electric Guitar pick up the pace again.
The latter half of the album goes into typical Chris Rea blues-kissee-kissee mode but never does it become too soppy or too weepy. The lyrics are simple, warm and pleasant on the ear.
I have only given one other album five stars so far this year (Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk) but if I could award six stars or more, in gold, Santo Spirito Blues would walk it for it deserves it over and over. This is by far the best collection I have reviewed for a long, long time.
It sure took a long time since your last album, Mr Rea, but it was well worth the wait.
With the time rapidly approaching for that fat oke in the funny red suit and white beard to come calling with his bag bulging with prezzies, you should write a note to him quickly and ask him to bring a copy of Santo Spirito Blues along to leave under the Christmas tree for the special person in your life.