‘Roll To The Left’ cover
Best known as one half of the legendary joint vocal strike force of The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Phil Odgers strikes out on his own once more with ‘Roll To The Left’, his latest solo offering. With this brilliantly fresh new album Phil brings his songwriting into sharp, bright, focus. Lyrically this is a collection of unique tales steeped in cinematic imagery – a journey through kitchen sink realism and social commentary bursting with technicolor splendor.
Phil’s warm melodic voice and rhythmic strumming acoustic guitar take centre stage throughout, aided and abetted by fiddle, double bass and lead guitar in all the right places. It’s never crowded. Pedal steel and baritone guitar make an appearance when called for and numbers such as ‘The Train’ have a genuine Johnny Cash feel, Phil playing the actual Martin guitar that Johnny Cash owned on that number.
The album, in the main, was recorded in the studio built for Kirsty MacColl by Steve Lillywhite in their family home in Ealing. The studio resonates with musical history and Phil was also lucky enough to be able to use guitars previously owned by Kirsty.
Horns also make a welcome appearance. ‘Blue Skies And A Saturday Job’ showcases the combination of acoustic guitar with baritone and tenor sax, unusually bringing the groove, whilst the only cover version, ‘Long Stem Rose’, is lovingly embraced by a traditional brass band.
For ‘Mist On The Water’ Phil is joined by a fabulous string orchestra bringing the cinematic element of the song into the fore.
The nature of the album means we are treated to some fantastic rhythmic playing without needing drums. Happily they do make an appearance on a couple of tracks where the sound of whole band playing together was all captured in just one take.
Phil and producer James Knight made a point of only using real instruments and chasing the perfect live performance – no auto-tune, no click tracks, no headphones. Just great songs played by great players, as real as it gets!
These organic and passionate sessions have resulted in a deeply accomplished album by the UK’s most underrated singer.
You can pre-order “Roll To The Left” HERE.