Rod Clements,
Odd Man Out
(Market Square, 2006)

Rod Clements hails from Tyneside, England, and started out playing Duane Eddy tunes on borrowed guitars. That apprenticeship comes to the fore on the excellent opening track on Odd Man Out called "All Grown Up & Nowhere to Go" with that driving guitar to the fore.

His forte appears to have been in the blues genre and he gravitated to the folk clubs that blossomed in the 1960s. From there he went on and provided Lindisfarne with a hit song, "Meet Me on the Corner."

His folk and blues credentials are still in the foreground on this album, with a set of songs that are well written and expertly played, but each with a bite that is the signature of good writing. "Existentially Yours" is a wonderful expose of our modern world where we can, "buy the latest secret histories on any airport newsstand bargain bin." I particularly liked "Taking the Back Road Home," a gentle song about a person doing what he knows is right rather than following the crowd.

The album continues in this top-class vein, giving us songs with meaning that bear repeated listening. Such listening is encouraged by the wonderful instrumental work that is not afraid to give us a retro sound that draws us back to the great sounds of a few decades ago -- but is as up to date as tomorrow's news.

by Nicky Rossiter
29 July 2006

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