These days resident in West Cork, Bell’s past disaffection with recording reaches a happy rapprochement with this album.
An all-rounder who’s learned well from past legendary associations, Bell’s at his most expansive on the jazzy lyricism of Gotta Say Bye Bye. The gentle rolling thunder of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison/Phil Lynott-style spoken-word blues unite in Song For Gary, a beautiful ode to his late, great homeboy, fellow six-string warrior Gary Moore. With as dramatic and blisteringly heartfelt a solo as Bell’s ever produced, it’s a sweet cherry on the top of a fine set.
From the angry fuzz tone powering the politico skewering Vote For Me to the skittish, speedy but playful Cliff Gallup licks firing his take on Little Richard’s Rip It Up, Bell’s eloquent directness and inspirational passion carries all before him. An excellent return.