Lloyd Spiegel – Cut And Run
Self-Release – 2019
10 tracks; 34 minutes
Lloyd Spiegel is based in Melbourne, Australia. The album is mainly a duo set between Lloyd on vocals and guitars and Tim Burnham on drums; Marty Spiegel adds guitar to one track, Ben Wicks plays bass on two tracks, one of which also adds Tony Green’s percussion, Lisa Baird on trombone and Andrew Houston on sax. Although most of the album is just Lloyd and Tim you would never really know as the sound is mainly full-on electric blues, despite the cover which shows Lloyd clutching an acoustic guitar.
Back in 2017 I reviewed his This Time Tomorrow and my past positive comments apply equally to his latest release which delivers some good songs.
The opening trio of songs are all uptempo: “Any Second Now” opens quietly but soon revs up with some keening slide double-tracked over Lloyd’s boogie rhythm, a song about being prepared for the action, in a boxing ring, a card game or anywhere else; the second song includes the title of the album in its lyrics which look darkly at how society keeps us under its thumb, Lloyd encouraging us to resist and “Rattle Your Cage” because we do have the power to run our own lives if we wish – a song that reflects the current political climate quite well.
On This Time Tomorrow several songs were based on Lloyd’s travels and “Tokyo Blues” is another one in the same vein, a chugging blues-rocker about the frustrations of a visitor to Japan’s capitol with some good guitar work. “Let Your Love Lie Down” changes the pace with a minor key piece with delicate guitar in Mark Knopfler mode before “Run” finds Lloyd on acoustic for a gentle ballad which he sings well in a low-key manner that suits the song.
Oddly “Run” mentions “a trombone in the distance” and, appropriately, the next track is the one with the horns. This is the standout cut here with lyrics about a chance encounter in a bar that could have lead to greater things if he had been able to “Track Her Down”. The additional instrumentation certainly enhances the overall sound and Lloyd takes a fine solo set against the warmth of the horns. We return to the heavier blues-rock style for “The Hustle” which finds Lloyd sharing guitar duties with his brother Marty.
“Mr Jenkins” has quite an aggressive feel as Lloyd rails against “Mr Jenkins on my television trying to turn my silver to gold. He’s screaming down the camera trying to tell me it’s under control” against some heavy drums and guitar. In contrast “One More Heartache” has Lloyd overdubbing fine electric lines over his acoustic, Ben’s bass adding a bubbling feel to the bottom end. It’s another strong track with a warm and gentle refrain which actually uses a line from a personal favorite, Eric Lindell’s “Lay Back Down” (“Minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days”). The album closes with “Old Wounds”, a solo acoustic song with Lloyd delivering the world-weary lyrics convincingly.
Lloyd has a good vocal style which he can adapt across the disc and, as with the previous album I reviewed, it’s a good listen with a couple of standout cuts.