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OTR Mamonama Lion Music (2008)


O.T.R (On The Rocks) brings together ex-Uriah Heep vocalist John Lawton and ex-Focus guitarist Jan Dumee (ex-Focus) backed by a set of highly talented Brazilian musicians, namely drummer Xande Figuerueido, keyboardist Marvio Ciribelli and bassist Ney Conceicao (all these three have worked with Jan Dumee previously on his solo album).

Listening to this album it could have been recorded back in the 70's with its laid back blues meets rock feel although the opening song 'Ghetto' has a funk feel and there are a few jazz touches on 'The Corner Club' (very Steely Dan in sound and feel). 'Hello (Dona Nobis Pacem)' features lots of vocal harmonies and makes for a real standout song on the album. John Lawton really shines (if you pardon the pun!) on 'Shine', putting in an emotive vocal to a lovely ballad.

The album does rock out on a couple of occasions with 'Taking You Down' and 'Woman' seeing the blues rock side of Lawton's singing and Dumee's playing coming to the fore.

An album for the quieter moments as it is one to savour and enjoy featuring some very accomplished guitar playing. The musical variety on here will certainly surprise fans of Lawton's Uriah Heep days and if anything lovers of Steely Dan would do well to check this album out. Hopefully we will hear more from this band in the future.


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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