A classy set of tunes, with great songwriting and musicianship. A warming collection with a huge variety of styles, linked by a kind of oldie pastoral feel- if that makes sense.
Favorite track: 3 Miles Left feat Samantha Whates.
Curated by the Blow Monkeys’ Dr Robert, Monks Road Social is an ever-evolving collaborative outfit. Down The Willows is their first album release and a unique and special project of inspiration, friendship and craft. Helping Robert get there were some members of the stellar Monks Road Social: Mick Talbot (Style Council, The Who) on harmonium, piano and Hammond; Crispin Taylor (Galliano, Candi Staton, Push) on drums; Ernie McKone (Galliano, Marlene Shaw) on bass; Matt Deighton (Mother Earth, Oasis) on lead guitar; Steve Sidelnyk (Richard Ashcroft, Madonna) percussion and, of course, the exquisite strings of Ben Trigg (Dexys, Richard Ashcroft), Steve White & Damon Minchella. These talented musicians were joined by some of Monks Road Records' exceptional new talent, including Samantha Whates and Pat Dam Smyth, as well as the acclaimed band Stone Foundation, and other new artists; Angelina, Nev Cottee, Zooey, XIME, and Shona Carmen, and J.O.S. With no genre boundaries and just 10 days in the studio, Dr Robert and his compadres creating a truly unique album. Effortlessly veering between soul, jazz, folk, blues rock, ambient, baroque and more. All held together with a passion and belief in the ethos of Monks Road founder, Richard Clarke, who wanted to create a world where artisans, poets and musicians are celebrated for their craft. Allowing them a place to showcase their talents in an industry that's making it impossible for them to do so, in a world hurtling towards convenience. Down The Willows is an exceptional collection of songs, showing how creative artists can be when afforded the opportunity to freely express themselves. It is a testament to Monks Road’s vision, and it is only the beginning…
released February 22, 2019
Produced By Dr Robert, House band - Mick Talbot, Matt Deighton, Ernie McKone, Crispin Taylor, Steve Sidelnyk Dr Robert
supported by 18 fans who also own “Down The Willows”
A lovely album, although at first I didn’t like it at all.. the reason being that I opted to buy the vinyl copy. Unfortunately, the record is mastered/cut very badly and it wasn’t until I played the digital version on my audio player that I engaged with the songs.
Yes, vinyl is having its second wind nowadays, but it seems that sub-standard engineers/companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Please, please, please; if you’re getting your album cut onto disc, use the right people... Steve Parry