Hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed 2021 album The Fire Cosmic, blues-rock slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Troy Redfern returns with his most compelling album of his career with The Wings of Salvation. The 10-track album, released Friday September 23rd, is available to pre-order – including yellow and red ‘splatter’ vinyl
The first single, Come On, is available to buy and stream
Produced by Dave Marks (Hans Zimmer) at the UK’s Dulcitone Studios, The Wings of Salvation is an exciting new chapter in Redfern’s trajectory, not only as a slide guitarist, but as a creative force in the recording studio.
“I wanted to make a record that was a true representation of where I am right now as an artist,” says Redfern. “I wanted to create something in the spirit of the old school classic rock albums that I grew up listening to.”
After releasing an unprecedented six albums in just under two years, Troy’s new album is his most compelling work to date. The album highlights Redfern’s powerfully edgy vocal delivery, condensed song writing skills, tight arrangements, complimented by his trademark “firebrand” slide guitar playing.
“I felt like the time was right to head back into the studio as the creative juices were flowing,” says Redfern. “On the new album, I wanted to approach the recording process by starting with a completely clean slate. I wrote the new album from scratch in just under five weeks, in the same way that the bands that I grew up listening to use to do. It makes everything fresh and immediate. It’s an accurate snapshot of where you are as an artist at that moment.”
Says Troy, “Dave Marks, my producer, and I also decided early on we wanted an old school aesthetic for this album, in that we wanted no studio fixes, no autotune, no drum editing or samples. It had to be real, with only complete takes, no chopping up parts in post-production to make them sound perfect. We wanted an album that authentically captured my sound. I feel satisfied in knowing that we achieved what we set out to accomplish, and I couldn’t be prouder of this album. My 1935 Dobro resonator features heavily on the new album along with my Magnatone Twilighter amplifier. I found this to be a killer combination. It’s such a huge tone without the need for layers and layers of guitar tracks.”
For drum duties Dave enlisted the skills of Paul Stewart, the drummer from chart toppers The Feeling. Troy says, “Dave felt that Paul was the perfect fit to play drums on this album. He connected with my new material and took it to another level. It was important for me to get the right drum sound for this album as that’s the foundation everything else is built on,” recalls Redfern. “I wanted a more three-dimensional, ‘open’ sound for this record. We used Lee Russell’s Dulcitone Studios in Kettering to track the drums, which is a beautifully converted church, and it has the most amazing natural reverb sound. The results are astounding. On the new album we’ve managed to take the production to the next level.”
“Mastering is an important part of making a great sounding record” explains Troy. “Abbey Road Studios was the only option. It has the gold-standard reputation for the best mastering facilities in the world. I decided that Sean Magee would be the perfect choice to master the new album. His credentials include the Beatles, Deep Purple, John Lennon, the Ramones, Tina Turner, Sex Pistols, Rush, and Iron Maiden. He turned out to be an excellent choice. He gave the album that gorgeous shine Abbey Road is renowned for.”
Album Track Listing
- Gasoline (3:53)
- Sweet Carolina (3:54)
- Come On (3:50)
- Navajo (3:24)
- Mercy (4:06)
- Can’t Let Go (4:21)
- Dark Religion (3:20)
- Profane (3:00)
- Down (3:30)
- Heart & Soul (3:47)
Troy Redfern: Lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Dave Marks: Bass guitar, piano, keyboards, percussion, banjo, additional guitars, backing vocals
Paul Stewart: Drums
Produced by Dave Marks at Two Wolves Studios
Engineered by Dave Marks and Troy Redfern
Drums recorded by Lee Russell at Dulcitone Studios
Mixed by Jo Webb at XXX Studios
Mastered by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios
Track By Track
The album opens with a slice of pure 21st century southern rock. Delivered with Troy’s feral slide guitar playing, heavy low tuned resonator guitars, and a monster 7/8 groove. Positive vibes abound lyrically with themes of “good times up ahead,” and “nothing’s gonna stand in your way.” Gasoline is hi-octane, good-time rock n roll.
Sweet Carolina is celebration of fiercely independent women everywhere and has a ‘Stones’ meets ‘Bolan’ feel that permeates this upbeat sunshine rocker. Despite the hat tip to the past this is a truly ‘Redfern’ tune with Troy’s trademark nicotine drenched vocals and slide guitar.
This bombastic, high-energy blues boogie comes out of the gate like a tasered rodeo horse. A traditional blues beat, but on steroids with a dash of glam rock, Come On epitomises what Troy does best – fuzzed up slide guitar, big choruses, and raw slide guitar solos.
Resonator guitars conjure up hazy images of the dust blown plains of the Wild West. Lyrically, it’s inspired by the 1864 Long Walk of the Navajo nation; used as an allegory of the loss of modern-day freedoms in all their forms.
Opening with a vintage vibe slide motif, Mercy bursts into a wall of uplifting guitars and Paul Stewart’s half time epic power groove. Dealing with themes of doomed love and moving on from bad situations, Mercy’s chorus opens-up like a break in the clouds leaving nothing but blue skies ahead.
Can’t Let Go
Lyrically, Can’t Let Go explores the feelings of watching world events play out in the media. It’s about the desire to dislocate from the negativity that we’re all force fed daily, and the need to reconnect with what really matters in life.
This song is the prequel to The Line and Ghosts. Played on a vintage 1935 Dobro resonator in a 3/4 sea shanty vibe, it follows the story of a girl setting sail to a new land with her hopes and dreams, but she inevitably comes to the realisation that all that glitters isn’t gold.
Like Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’ Sin City meets the punk energy of The Damned, this high-octane psychobilly car chase soundtrack roars through the noir cityscape at breakneck speed. Revenge, retribution and finally redemption. Redfern lets it rip by with tasty guitar licks courtesy of his vintage 1962 Silvertone Jupiter guitar.
Underpinned with a tribal voodoo beat and brooding rhythm guitars, Down’s verse simmers with tension before exploding headlong into its supercharged chorus. The harmonised vocals of middle eight almost feel ethereal, before it jumps into a slash and burn guitar solo.
Heart & Soul
Heart & Soul strips things right back to the essentials with guitar, voice, and kick drum. Having the vibe and intensity of one of Troy’s solo performances, the raw energy is evident, especially in the extended guitar solo where the guitar sounds like it’s crying out in anguish.