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THE KEITH REID PROJECT 'The Common Thread' Rockville (2008)

Keith Reid formed Procul Harum with Gary Brooker and was responsible for the band's lyrics throughout their career. He has now assembled a fine cast of musicians and vocalists for his own project whose musical style dips its toes into folk, rock, AOR, Latin and more. Fear not though despite this pot purée of styles it all holds together well due to Reid's lyrics and the fine vocals.

The AOR comes from John Waite on 'In God's Shadow' and the simply wonderful 'Gold Fever' - Waite as ever sounds on top form.

Southside Johnny rattles through two songs, the up tempo 'Ninety-Nine Degrees In The Shade' and the album's title track, both of which sound just like Southside Johnny's own songs!

Bernie Shanathan produces a wonderful vocal on 'Potter's Field', a story telling folk tune that Fairport Convention would love to do I am sure. I thought it was Tom Petty on 'The Heartbreak House' as the musical backing and voice sounded so much like Petty, but in fact it is Michael Saxell.

'Silver Town' is another strong AOR leaning song although personally I skip 'The Only Monkey' with its slightly annoying backing vocal.

Terry Reid pops up on 'Too Close To Call', whilst Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann's Earth Band) adds his vocals to 'It Might Be Your Heart' and the original version of 'You're The Voice', which was of course a massive hit for John Farnham and has been covered by many other artists including Heart.

A very enjoyable album with some fine vocal performances, strong song writing and highly recommended for not only fans of the various vocalists involved but anyone who just likes damn fine music.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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