After last year's 'MMXXI - The Story So Far' album, North Wales' Jamie Porter and his band return with another seven tracks from the back catalogue, reworked and remastered and collected together on the 'Rock 'N' Roll Soul' album, released on the 9th December. Once again, ably backed by his son Danny and with contributions from Jason Edmunds and Russ Hayes, 'Rock 'N' Roll Soul' is another heartfelt collection of songs with great playing, varied and well-crafted songs, and as the album title suggests, plenty of rock 'n' roll played very soulfully. It's a fine collection of seven tracks, and those of you already familiar with Jamie's work will find much to enjoy and love, while those of you yet to hear his material would do well to investigate.
Eschewing the well-trodden path of blues-rockers opening their albums with a one-two punch of heavy rifferama and strident soloing, 'Rock 'N' Roll Soul' kicks in with the soulful and gospelly flavours of 'A Girl Like You' providing an uplifting rather than riotous start to the album, while following track 'I'm Not Running Away' has an almost 90s Brit-pop feel about it with Oasis-like guitars weaving in and out amongst some warming organ tones and some affecting vocals. 'Need A Little Loving (Sometime)' brings the rock credentials with wah-wah guitar, some great riffs and guitar breaks, and a 'Paradise City' feel - at 7:38, it's certainly the album's 'anthem'. The gorgeous, lilting 'You Are The One' shows Jamie and his band can handle a ballad as well as anyone - a lovely sentiment to match a lovely tune. 'Remember Yesterday' is another fine driving tune, perfect for radio with its hooky chorus and chugging rhythms, while 'Ready For Action' (which opened 'The Story So Far') is here again in an extended version - still 'classic rock in the classic sense' of the word with its Lynyrd Skynyrd meets AC/DC riffage and stadium filling tuneage. The album finishes with 'Hero' - a song dedicated to those unsung people in the military and emergency services; the band does its subjects proud with another great solo, driving tuneage and drama-filled undertow.
'Rock 'N' Roll Soul' is another fine collection of tracks from Jamie and the guys and shows off the band's fine playing and Jamie's excellent songwriting. Every track here has something to commend it and it is thoughtfully put together with a great flow to the running order and is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. If you're looking for something new in classic rock 'n' roll mould then look no further than this excellent album - well worth checking out!
'Rock 'N' Roll Soul' is out now, available on all the major digital sites while CD versions can be picked up from www.jamieporterband.com