Stovepipe Records / FUSE
In 2012, Matt Walker released what was essentially his first ‘solo’ record, In Echoes Of Dawn, away from long-running projects The Necessary Few, and his collaborations with drummer Ash Davies. He went on to tour the album with a group of likeminded musical mates, who now appear as part of Lost Ragas, Walker’s latest project in a career spanning over twenty years.
Their debut, Phantom Ride, is a gem – a shimmering paean to road-weary rock ‘n’ roll, rooted in the blues and using wavering country as a staff with which to prop itself up as it meanders from one sonic stop to another. Walker’s sinewy guitar is, of course, a focal point, as is his tried and tested vocal (which, on the title track, sounds eerily similar to Lou Reed’s).
Add to that some stellar pedal steel and mandolin from Shane Reilly (who also arranges strings on Dark Night), and you’ve got an early contender for roots/rock ‘n’ roll album of the year.
Samuel J. Fell