- 23 Apr 14
Feelgood legend's trip down memory lane with Who frontman
Releasing an album on the legendary Chess label is the recording equivalent of Moz’s appropriation of the Penguin Classics imprint. But, of course, in the company of Dr Feelgood’s Lee Brilleaux et al, back in the 1970s, Johnson took the sound of the Chicago label and reinvented it for a new generation. Wilko’s defiance in the face of his terminal cancer diagnosis has been remarkable. Living on borrowed time he continuously extends his farewell tour and has even taken the time to craft a bitter-sweet swansong. Teaming up with Roger Daltrey for this outing was an inspired choice: the latter’s robust, powerful tones and rich vocal range bring an extra dimension to the Johnson classics, refreshing them anew.
From solo titles such as ‘Ice On The Motorway’ and ‘I To Keep It To Myself’ to Feelgood hits ‘All Through The City’ and ‘Keep It Out Of Sight’, Daltrey nails it every time. Johnson’s guitar is equally versatile – but never so intoxicating as when at its choppy, percussive best.
His touring rhythm section of Blockheads bassist Norman Watt-Roy and drummer Dylan Howe provide a rock solid foundation and additional keyboard magic is supplied by Dexy’s Mick Talbot. Recorded in a mere seven days, the songs have all the energy and power of a band, and a man, working against the clock.