Rick Biddulph — Second Nature
(Voiceprint VP178, 1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
If his name is a mite familiar, perhaps it should be. Biddulph is a multi-instrumentalist who had been a roadie and sound engineer for several Canterbury bands (Hatfield among them) before joining the French band Anaïd as their bassist/guitarist in the mid-80s. Since then, he has turned up playing with Richard Sinclair's Caravan of Dreams, and most recently as a member of Mirage (the ex-Camel / ex-Caravan collective that released a live album and toured a couple years ago.
Second Nature is Rick's first solo album, primarily an instrumental outing where he plays guitars, bass, guitar synth, keyboards, balalaika, and sings on two tracks. He's joined by numerous guests, on saxes, flute, clarinet, midi-drums, piano, additional keyboards, and so on. The music herein tends to be a bit more on the relaxed side, quite atmospheric, perhaps in the vein of Pete Bardens' eighties work (Seen One Earth, etc.); with a strong thematic essence, it's almost as if the music here could be a film soundtrack of some type. Of the two vocal pieces, the first ("Lizard on a Rock") fits into the program well, and features some nice etherealities by Suzanne Bramson; the second ("Loose Ends") is a loungy soft-blues number with harmonies by Barbara Gaskin. Several tunes bear a more dark and mysterious feel, yet all the tracks are punctuated by excellent solos and spirited playing. A few numbers have a more pronounced jazz influence, most notably "The Hillman Effect," where Pierre-Marie Bonafos (ex-Anaïd) adds some impressive sax work. The closer, "Out of Harm's Way," ties the whole album up nicely. In all, there's much here to warm up to, it's a release that grows with each listen; remarkable for its simplicity, yet stunning in its ability to convey emotion.
Related artist(s): Rick Biddulph
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more