Exposé Online banner

The David Rhodes Band — The David Rhodes Band
(Glassville, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-30

The David Rhodes Band Cover art

For many years, David Rhodes had been promising a solo album, stepping out from his gig as Peter Gabriel’s guitarist, and in 2010 he came out with Bittersweet, which I haven't heard. Now we have a band with his name on it, featuring Rhodes along with his Peter Gabriel bandmate drummer Ged Lynch and bassist Charlie Jones, an alumnus of Robert Plant’s band. In some ways, the music is much more reminiscent of his old band Random Hold than the wide-ranging pop of Mr. Gabriel. Anyone familiar with his previous work as a group member and side-man will know that Rhodes is not the kind of guitarist to hog the spotlight and wank off a thousand notes a second. He’s much more textural, setting the right mood for the song and finding interesting ways to interpret the compositions. While Rhodes hasn’t recorded music that would normally be called “progressive rock,” the quality of the product makes it worthy of note (not to mention his history, which may be somewhat tangential to prog, but is important nonetheless). From the first notes of “If I Could Empty My Head” we’re treated to a solid set of imaginative songs which are catchy without being simplistic. (And I have to say I love the lyric, “If I could empty my head, I’d start again, I’d be more careful about the stuff I put back in.”) And there’s his singing guitar tones, slightly different from situation to situation, but always there holding things together; they’re often significantly distorted, but his effects, along with his lovely vibrato touch, give the music a distinct flavor that’s very appealing. His vocals are quite good as well, both on the more aggressive tunes and on the quieter numbers like “You Are the North Wind” and the engagingly simple “Be Mine.” For some reason I can’t quite articulate, I’m reminded of Be Bop Deluxe, though without keyboards. While the overall forms may follow the conventions of rock music, there are some unusual chord progressions, and the production is crisp and straightforward, with no distracting studio tricks aside from the overdubs of extra guitar and vocal parts. I always felt that Random Hold never reached their potential, and Rhodes gives us one vision of what it could have been.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): David Rhodes

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Elton Dean - QED – Elton Dean’s recent associations with Hammond organ specialist Alex Maguire (as heard on HUX’s excellent release Psychic Warrior) have been gradually building over time. QED is one of the first...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues