Danny Adler: Bit of Beatles (Ace/Border)

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I'm Only Sleeping
Danny Adler: Bit of Beatles (Ace/Border)

So here be 10 Lennon-McCartney covers and three originals (tributes to Lennon and Harrison) by a man whose sleeve photos would tell you he was clearly a teenager when the Beatles broke more than half a century ago.

American singer-guitarist Adler – who once played with John Lee Hooker and other blues legends in California and the early Elephant's Memory (who later worked with Lennon in NYC), founded the Stiff Records' band Roogalator in the UK in the early Seventies and has been in the off-duty UK legends in boogie band Rocket 88 – says in the liner notes this album took a decade to get together.

It seems he and his loyal band might have day jobs as well as doing live sessions – but also concedes some of these songs (She Said She Said, There's A Place) were done in one take.

Adler brings a barroom blues edge to many of these Beatles' songs and if you were in the room on the night when it was happening it would be a lot of familiar fun. But whether you would want to repeat the moment afterwards on record is another question.

Most remain reasonably faithful to the original melodies . . . but on Every Little Thing he recognises this song had a happy lyric but a sad tune, and it is the latter he explores in a downbeat psychedelic manner. A mood he appropriately picks up for She Said She Said (as he should).

But this is a lot of covers and few have the smarts and re-invention tendencies of, say, Matthew Bannister's excellent Evolver . . . and his tributes to The Two Dead Beatles are pretty earnest without the bizarre tweeness and hilariously awful Fab-referencing seriousness of Strawberry Walrus.

(Although the closing lines of I'm Only Sleeping are . . . umm . . .)

On the back of this CD sleeve it says “Danny Adler has over 55 albums on iTunes and numerous performance videos on youtube”.

I don't doubt it.

This was one of them.

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