The Mighty Rooster, |
(Rising Damp, 2002)
The Mighty Rooster is the unlikely name for a band from the West Country (southwest England), and their third CD, Red Room, is a goodly blend of rock and folk. It's easy to listen to and also encourages tapping feet to get up and dance.
Lead singer Steve Heath has a distinctive and fairly mighty voice that sounds a bit like a more powerful Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) and a more melodious Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull). His voice complements the music, which is mainly composed by himself and Pete Baker, the band's guitarist. The lyrics are as bold as the voice that sings them.
The musicians include Heath on mandolin, bouzouki, pennywhistle and acoustic and slide guitars, Baker on lead guitar, Mike Varty on keyboards and violin, Simon Clarke on bass guitar and Dean Creighton on drums. They provide a solid accompaniment to the lyrics, and Red Room "Sail Away" is a good opener, with a strong beat and interesting lyrics -- and there is better yet to come. "Two-fingered Jig" has a lovely introduction and the body of the instrumental defies you keep still. "Blessed Be" has a striking a cappella opening and bursts into vibrant accompaniment that nonetheless cannot drown the clarity of Heath's robust vocals. The closing song, "Wherever," is a poignant ballad with a moody slide guitar that fits beautifully with Baker's lead.
This is a stompingly good album, with a confident diversity of sound that should appeal to a wide audience. Their website is easy to access -- although they could benefit from better photos in their gallery -- but all they now need is better coverage to bring them to the attention of the rock-folk and rock listening public. Then this band can really crow!