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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Fowler, Rick - 2008 Back On My Good Foot
Fowler, Rick - 2008 Back On My Good Foot

ARTIST: Fowler, Rick
ALBUM: Back On My Good Foot
LABEL: Jammates Records
YEAR: 2008
SPONSOR: Rick Fowler


LINEUP: Rick Fowler - vocals, guitars * Gerry Hansen, Bill Berry - drums, percussion * Michael C Steele - bass, acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, backing vocals * Tim 'Drawbar' White, Randall Bramlett - hammond organ * Jonathan Dorsey - backing guitar * Sherry Joyce - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Infected With The Blues * 02 Skeletons In Your Closet * 03 Feel So Much Better * 04 Back On My Good Foot * 05 Preacher * 06 Walk Softly * 07 Running From The Truth * 08 Road To Nowhere * 09 Hitchhiking * 10 Hellbound Train



Regular attendees at GDM will be well aware of Georgia based guitar rocker Rock Fowler. We've previously interviewed Rick, and learned all about his previous hard rock bands Deacon Little, Fortnox and Bombay. Not forgetting also that he was a member of Ziggurat too, though he did not record with them. This is all relevant in the current day as both Bombay and Ziggurat are having albums re-released on Retrospect Records. To keep up the momentum, Rick has recently unleashed his new solo album 'Back On My Good Foot' which displays his unbashed love for the blues, albeit in the vein and style of those 60's British blues based outfits from yesteryear. On this album, you get to hear influences and styles ranging from John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton and the effervescent Kim Simmonds from Savoy Brown. Rick mentioned that the sessions for 'Back On My Good Foot' was based around a whole bunch of close friends going into a studio and having a whole lotta fun - included on the team is REM's Bill Berry on drums.

The Songs
As you would expect with a blues based album, the lyrics and theme has traditionally drawn upon aspects of life that aren't so uplifting. Terms such as 'despair', 'desolate', 'downtrodden', down on my luck' all ring true in this genre. 'I guess that's why they call it the blues' as coined by Elton John is so appropriate, and Rick keeps it true to tradition with the ten songs onboard the album. In saying that though, you can tell that Rick is rather self effacing about it all - with ample 'tongue in cheek humor' liberally applied throughout. Though it might be the blues, the musicians still have a load of fun with it, and so should we.. the listener.

Case in point, opener 'Infected With The Blues' is a song about those who have reached rock bottom, where not even the Preacher can help. As the lyric says.. 'no on wants a soul that is infected with the blues..'. Poor chap.. haha! The guitar work from Rick is particularly stinging on this track. If you've ever lived in a small town, usually everybody knows everybody and your (private) business becomes everybody elses! 'Skeletons In Your Closet' is one such tale of rumor, innuendo and dirty laundry played over the backdrop of a traditional blues arrangement. Could this be 'Desperate Housewives' in a small one horse town instead? Cool song nonetheless. 'Feel So Much Better' is a sombre tune in a slower tempo, with a steamy backdrop provided by the hammond organ. How something so simple can sound this great is a testament to all the players on the song. More optimistic in both lyric and music is the upbeat 'Back On My Good Foot'. The feelgood swing is complimented by the mood and vibe. The message on 'Preacher' is particularly hard hitting, and takes a swipe at the preacher men who use their funeral speeches to focus on other non-related events other than that of the immediate family and the recently deceased. They may think it's all good and well to admonish evil in a god-fearing way, but do so in an appropriate setting.

'Walk Softly' is not a sweet tune of happiness and flowers. It's about a very jealous guy who is about to kill his cheating lover. How many times has this been played out in real life I wonder? In all walks of life we are presented with opposing views. Left wing, right wing. Conservative, revolutionary, retain the status quo or forward thinking progress. Which is best? Which is right. Which is the truth? Though 'Running From The Truth' does not attempt to answer the argument, it does highlight how awkward it is to discern the truth from the murky melting pot on viewpoints and opinion. 'Road To Nowhere', sounds like the protagonist of the song has reached a dead-end in his life, and with petrol prices being what they are at the moment, I am not expecting our anti-hero to find his way back to the nearest gas pump anytime soon. Perhaps the most traditional blues tune here is 'Hitchhiking'. The acoustic guitar picking is straight of the Mississippi delta, the tale of woe is one we've heard many times before.. the girl is gone, the dog has run away, no money in the pocket, only has the clothes on his back, and a guitar for a friend and travelling companion.. lol! The album finishes up with a cover of Savoy Brown's 'Hellbound Train'. It's a moody slice of blues that builds to a crescendo at the end, with fiery guitar and powerful hammond organ playing, enough to knock that train off its tracks.

In Summary
The thing I loved the most about this record is the subtlety of the playing. Understated, yet still able to deliver a king hit without you even realising you're being set up for a sucker punch! Though this a guitar rocking album, take nothing away from the lovely hammond organ playing of Tim 'Drawbar' White (great nickname!) and Randall Bramlett. As Rick says.. 'When I play a note on my guitar and it sustains just right -- for a few seconds, I have everything I need in this world.' Sometimes to be effective, you don't have to display ample amounts of flash. It's the complete honesty and tradition of the style that is important, and without doubt, Rick Fowler has that covered easily. It's nice to see Rick still out there doing his thing, and keeping true to his roots. For those of you living in the state of Georgia, check out his Myspace page and get out and see him play live at a venue near you.

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#1 | rkbluez on June 02 2008 03:32:06
Great blusey rock album from Rick I got this when it came out and I really like it but it might not be for the die hard AOR purest here...but those of us who like a southern tinged rockin' blues album now and then with a great production are going to love this.
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