Wily Bo Walker & E D Brayshaw
Wily Bo Walker and E D Brayshaw joined forces to write this double album as a story book about three friends (Johnny, Louise and Harry) and the paths they take. From the accompanying booklet and first listen these guys have put a lot of time and energy into this project.
Wily’s vocal is the first thing that strikes out, the gravel tone voice that could be described as a cross between Chris Rea and Mark Knopfler gives the songs a British feel against an Americana sound that they’ve produced. E D Brayshaw's guitar work instantly reminded me of Thin Lizzy style guitar players’ a la Gary Moore and Brian Robertson and the classy female backing vocals from Karena K complements the material perfectly.
Thirteen songs may sound like a single album, but many of the tracks are more than four minutes long, normally found in the Prog world. Kicking off with what I would call the radio single ‘Storm Warming’, a mid-pace rocker, followed by a more chilled number in the form of ‘I Want To Know’ and the hypnotic ‘Motel Blues’ open side one.
’Loan Me A Dime’ is slow Bluesy number you could imagine playing in a gangster’s smoky back bar, whilst ‘September Red’ brightens up the room with a vocal gathering and a immense guitar solo from E D in the latter half of the track. The loose acoustic style ‘Killers On The Run’ closes side 1.
Album two opens up with two gutsy Rock and Rollers in the form of ‘Running Wild’ and ‘Night Of The Hunter’. In at number three finds the guys in a lighter shade of Americana, reminiscent of some early ‘Eagles’ material, with ‘Tennessee Blues’. ’
After the Storm’ follows a steady path to what, in my opinion, is the album’s best song ‘The Ballad Of Johnny & Louise’. A brilliant epic composition with all the elements of a massive hit song (and it should be). Hats off ladies and gents for this one! The title track ‘The Roads We Ride’ follows along a Springsteen style highway with a reprise of ‘Storm Warning’ to end.
So, we have a story for the lyric lovers and plenty of variety for the Blues/Rock listener. Tune in people!