Latest Blogposts

Stepping Stones - I’ve got a new album. It’s pretty much a one man show, but with a few crucial contributions to playing, writing and arranging.… Read More
RUNE AND FLASH: Inside the Dream Prison - Like Joe Canzano’s last book, SUZY SPITFIRE AND THE SNAKE EYES OF VENUS, RUNE AND FLASH revolves around a highly motivated female character with homicidal tendencies. Part teenage dystopian romp, part social commentary, a cross between J.G. Ballard and THE HUNGER GAMES, the author creates a convincing world with just the right amount of characters, in which different groups and organizations clash within a frightening technological scenario. The interactions of a group of teenagers who are learning to write dreams together provides a bit of fun against the backdrop of psychological manipulation by the controllers of the Dream Station. Older… Read More
Cash Promotion - The Singer To these ears, Johnny Cash’s singing style was basically the same for the vast majority of his recording career. From his debut in 1957, peppered with classics heard regularly from that point on, to the ‘American II’ album in 1996, where the singing is energetic, enthusiatic and technically strong, he had great tone quality, decent intonation and put lyrics across convincingly. After the onset of Shy-Drager syndrome in 1997, there’s what seems like an involuntary wobble and a reduced lung capacity which caused some to question the wisdom of the powers that be continuing to record Cash, as… Read More
A Place Like This (remastered) - A Place Like This – the title track describes the UK’s 2025 City of Culture, which wasn’t very cultural when I lived there! – is a group of tracks, most of which are collaborations with Mike Pierce-Goulding, who co-wrote eight of the songs, recorded and mixed seven of them and whose skills on keyboards, guitar, composing and arranging are especially prominent on five. It was mainly recorded in 2000-2, with three tracks newly put down in 2019. I have remastered the whole project and I hope it is more playable now than it was previously.… Read More
Ben Z Walker & The Test at Grossman’s - I’ve got a new name, the band has a new name and, in the three years since we last performed live, some of the songs we do have been recorded and released on a CD called ‘Impermanent Resident’. We’re playing at Grossman’s, Toronto’s Home of the Blues, on Friday June 10th and will be playing all the tracks on the recording which feature Kevin Barrett (guitar), Michael Kaler (bass) and Tim Shia (drums). We’ll also be doing a load of other songs, not all by me. The music starts at 5:00 (NOT 8:30 as originally advertised), it’s Pay What You… Read More
MAN-agement - The Latest Albums by Man and Son of Man 1 Anachronism Tango by Man came out in 2019, coinciding with a mini-British tour by a band which was then in its fifty-first year of existence. The band’s previous album had included songs, vocals and keyboards from Phil Ryan, who died in 2016. Is there as much depth in the material and texture without him? Maybe not, but there are still some interesting moments and some good sounds. With the loss of Ryan, we are back to the father/son dichotomy of Martin (bass/vocals/songs) and Josh (guitar/vocals/songs) Ace*. The contrast between the… Read More
The King Of Social Funk - For some reason, the term ‘singer-songwriter’ seems to be frowned upon when the person being referred to works in the dance music or pop genre. I haven’t heard Michael Jackson, Prince or Robert Palmer given that description, nor, for that matter, Gil Scott-Heron. It’s true that Scott-Heron was many things, but he did sing and he did write songs. His memoir, ‘The Last Holiday’, is available to read, and at least two biographies have been written, one of which is ‘Pieces of a Man’ by Marcus Baram. The Last Holiday Scott-Heron’s first thirty-two years encompassed some rich and varied experiences.… Read More
Impermanent Review - The Impermanent Resident album has received some airplay on college radio here in Canada, getting into the top 10 at CFBX in Kamloops, BC, and CJAM in Windsor, Ontario. It’s also been great to hear many of the tracks on Robbie Martin and Molly Kenyon’s programme Into the Buttercup on BCB radio in Bradford, UK. Coincidentally, another Yorkshire resident, Ian Taylor of Rock n Reel magazine, wrote this review for the July/August 2021 issue: Hopefully the album will continue to reach sympathetic ears in the future!… Read More
Comrades Reunited - Jazz guitarist and composer Patrick Naylor has a new one out, called ‘Winter Dream’. The album contains nine varied tracks, each with singable tunes, comparatively simple chords and emotional light and shade from all the participants. ‘Where Are My Glasses’ starts the ball rolling. The feel is based on a three beat phrase followed by a five beat phrase, with ample space between the melodic statements. ‘Satori’ begins with engineer/producer David Beebee on piano playing a guitar-like figure in a jazz waltz that sounds a little influenced by Egberto Gismonti. The title track comes next, and deserves its status. The… Read More