Charlie Whitney & Robert A Roberts

CHARLIE WHITNEY

Yes him,the multi instrumentalist and eclectic songwriter from Family and Streetwalkers fame.Charlie has spent the latter part of his career pursuing a more down home approach,embracing a more Folk, Country ,Celtic roots flavour.
It was there of course years ago in the ultimate folksong, Family's "Weavers Answer". Three decades later Charlies squared the circle teaming up with Robert.A.Roberts to recapture his song writing spark,and of course his inspirational trade mark lap steel and mandolin playing, and much much more.
ROBERT .A. ROBERTS

A lyrical harp playing guitarist and fine songwriter and photographer of note.Robert has been a core member of over 10 years standing with South London roots rockers Roadhouse. A disciple of American music from the Ry Cooder/David Lindley stable,Robert has the rare ability to transform his American railroad photography into musical imagery.

Together the Whitney/Roberts songwriting partnership packs a confident swagger born of experience and a ton of musical ideas.

THE ALBUM

From the opening brace of songs through a compelling mix of of cutting edge Country and Cajun to Rock and Reggae the Whitney Roberts Combo bring together their musical influences both new and past, put them through a musical spin drier and add a dash of coherence.

How else could you make a connection between the Lubbock imagery of Terry Allen, the Cockney reflections of Ray Davies "Dead End Street", the wry irony of Warren Zevon, and the sweeping melodies and Celtic undertow of the duo's own impressive efforts.

Listen for example to the magnificent self penned "Lost in a Heartbeat", complete with Whitneys delightful ascending mandolin line. Or check out the clever Reggae undertow of "Talking to the Loog" which resolves itself musically in a Beatles style melange of insistent stabbed piano chords and glistening harmonies.

Listen also to the unlikely but impressively confident stab at the old Brenda Lee cover of "Lover Come Back To Me" or the rousing reworking of Guy Clark and Lee Roy Parnell's "Too Much" - here given a Johnny Cash style delivery - and you know these guys not only know their musial roots, they revel in them.

By the time of the closing self-penned rocker "Short Time Here And a Long Time Gone", and the hard driving "Sweet Talker" the Whitney Roberts Combo have hit base.

File under F for Fun. Roots music was never so eloquent.

Review by Pete Feenstra for Soundcheck Magazine