Lincoln’s very own ace guitarist and session player, Eddie Tatton has signed a deal with Stunted Records for the worldwide release of his debut album Canons Under Flowers in a six-panel glossy Digipak format with 12 page booklet, set to hit stores on Friday 15th October 2021.
Touted by Guitarist Magazine as far back as 1999 as “one of the young British blues players to watch”, Eddie picked up accolades for work with band Out of the Blue, with a dynamic style melding Robben Ford with the poise of Larry Carlton. When the band ended he branched out joining diverse artists such as Nightmares on Wax and Mozez from Zero 7, spending the next decade as a touring sideman.
Approached by Stunted Records to put out a solo album, it was the catastrophe of the pandemic on the music industry that provided the space and time to write. After his partner of 20 years caught and recovered from the virus, Eddie kept the musical sketches he sent to her during her illness and worked them into songs. With vocal contributions from Mozez, Lynne Jackaman, James Manners and some of the best musicians in their field, he documented the year drawing inspiration from all his past influences, set in a landscape that nods to George Harrison in India, Laurel Canyon in 1969, but also the dark beauty and subtle stylings of Portishead, Morcheeba and Massive Attack.
The album features nine tracks of beautiful guitar performances built into mostly dreamy, acoustic-ish compositions, mesmeric vocal lines floating within pastoral landscapes. Despite being touted as a blues player, somehow these songs transcend the blues – there’s touches of country, hints of swing and jazz, shades of folk and classical work, even a whisper of psych-rock – all melded through superb guitar lines, melodies and exquisite vocals into an uplifting songset that shimmers like sunshine on a summer’s day. I’ve not seen the lyrics for the album but even without them the overall impact is really quite lovely!
First up is Small Voice, featuring Mozez. Interestingly, this is the longest track on the opus, coming in at over eight minutes. Mozez has a glorious voice, the first of many distinguished collaborators on this album, here he sounds not unlike like the late, sadly missed Garry Christian (lead singer of the Christians). Mozez is a superbly smooth soul singer, an inspired choice and a reflection of the high regard Eddie is held in by his fellow musicians. Small Voice is essentially pastoral soul in mood, hypnotically reeling you in with several different guitar styles included, slide becoming increasingly upfront towards the end with a burst or two of some nice riffs as well. A great start!
Next is Rise, featuring James Manners and Lynne Jackaman. James blends soul, acoustic, blues and folk in a laid-back style that perfectly suits Eddie’s acoustic and slide playing. Add Lynne’s heavenly vocals to this and Rise is simply luscious!
Namaste features Lynne Jackaman as sole vocalist, with Eddie again doubling up on acoustic guitar as the bedrock of the song, with slide and delicate finger-picking to complete the arrangement. Some interesting little breaks in pace and percussion add further texture to this beguiling track. It concludes with a big band sound, you’re almost expecting a gospel choir to round things off!
Hope is a brief track, two minutes of sumptuous guitar and cello playing – it’s really hard to differentiate between the two on here, our Eddie is a multi-facetted guy! This really makes the senses soar!
Tempest features James Manners again, and is perhaps the most rocky track in this collection. Eddie plays a mixture of slide and lead guitars (I think!), a decent bass and drums section underpins James singing not unlike early Rod Stewart (Mandolin Wind era), bursts of gospel choir do indeed make an appearance here in this joyous, boisterous, blues-rock number. The mood slows mid-way for some more luscious slide work from The Man – he has this knack of making you think “is that guitar, cello, or what other strings” at times, it flows, builds, rocks along for a superb seven minutes.
Canons Under Flowers is the title track, starts with a fluid, watery acoustic passage, overlaid with first electric guitar and again by slide/electric cello, I really don’t know! – but it’s so good! Strangely it’s perhaps the simplest track on the album in terms of composition, but as a vehicle for the mix of guitars it’s peerless, replete with a pretty heavyweight classic blues-rock solo in the latter stages.
Left To Our Own Devices Pt1 again features Lynne Jackaman, another stunning home-grown talent whose star is surely on the Rise (huh!) She’s a London-based blues singer with incredible range, soul and passion, that perfectly blends with Eddie’s peerless guitar playing. I might go so far as to say these are Lynne’s best performances so far! Slow, sweetly elegant slide introduces this number, before Lynne’s honeyed vocals flow over. Ironically the gentleness of the song belies the hard-hitting message about environmental damage.
11.59 Pt2 bursts in like a psych-rock anthem, whilst becoming distinctly more Indian in vibe. I’m guessing 11.59 is a reference to the parlous state the planet is in, and the need to change….quickly. The rumbling beat and sparse snare drum perhaps accentuate the sense of time ticking away, and Eddie is pulling out all the stops on his fuzzbox, reverb and suss kit, he’s really getting stuck in!
Glory Pt3 brings this sumptuous album to an end. A simple acoustic, pastoral number that perhaps reflects on a hopefully successful redemptive stance by mankind realising its proper place in nature.
All in all, not knowing what to expect, I was completely captivated by this album! The quality of the many guitar parts and the singers is outstanding, and I look forward to more in the same vein!