Rebecca Downes - 'More Sinner Than Saint'

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Rebecca Downes - 'More Sinner Than Saint'

This album will surely occupy a special place within our musical heart – I promise it will take only one listen to do so!

Ten issues ago to the number*, I had the privilege of reviewing Rebecca Downes' in-concert release 'Be-Live' and continued to be blown away by each performance, and this time it is like déjà vu. However, the difference on this occasion is that we have brand-new material to enjoy. As you may expect this lady can do no wrong; from her acclaimed debut to winning awards for Vocalist Of The Year several times over, Downes has continued to raise the standards of Blues Rock. Her delivery and interpretation of this idiom of Blues are both exceptional and above all genuine.

'More Sinner Than Saint' delivers those bluesy expressions just like we expect but with a twist... a very big Rock twist! With her partner in music, Steve Birkett, they have forged their love of the Blues with a razor-sharp sheen of Rock and a little Roll that is all written with heart and soul. The band themselves are a rock-hard outfit with Lloyd Daker on drums, Rick Benton on keyboards and Vince Yarrington on bass; all of them share and work this musical dream with Downes and Birkett.

Downes puts in a stunning performance on each track. Her song-writing has grown and by collaborating with Birkett, both have strengthened each other and complemented each other's talents which in turn has inspired them to reach ever higher. Rolling their writing talents into their musicianship, what we hear is truly amazing. From the earthy and heartfelt lyrics to the soulful, yet razored Rock licks that bubble up throughout, this is a set of heated and emotive musical expressions that are a true delight.

Downes and her crew are simply five musicians that deliver passionate Blues-driven Rock in top-quality style. The group absolutely do not rest on their laurels. They continuously reach for higher standards, both individually and collectively. Downes herself stretches her vocal techniques, ever-reaching to get better and better all the time – check out the title-track as a great example. The above can also be said about each member of this band because their growth as musicians and as a group is indeed in leaps and bounds.

' This album is about to propel Rebecca Downes the singer and her band to ever higher levels. As for us, 'More Sinner Than Saint' will surely occupy a special place within our musical heart – I promise it will take only one listen to do so!

Bruce E.J. Atkinson

(* this review is from Fireworks Magazine #87)

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