Archive | August, 2022

NFN Review – CASPAR McCLOUD BAND : Walking in Authority.   (https://www.casparmccloudmusic.com)

2 Aug

I remembered reviewing an earlier release by Casper McCloud and his band, and I REALLY liked it. Being a classic rock/prog rock fan, the sound was right where I wanted to be. So, when I was asked to review this new release, I quickly found time to listen. Just for the uninitiated, Caspar McCloud is an accomplished portrait artist, an equestrian, a virtuoso guitarist, singer, and songwriter, as well as an ordained minister, and author. Caspar presently pastors a church called, “The Upper Room” in Roswell, GA, when he is not out traveling as a musician and a guest speaker. Instantly, I was hooked by this 24 track, 2 disc release. My immediate thought was it is reminiscent of Dave Flett (Manfred Manns Earth Band) and Thin Lizzy, among other bands and his style of guitar playing – plus occasional touches of Eddie Van Halen, too. Throughout the album, the listener is treat to driving beats, loud guitars, guitar soloing and spiritual lyrics. Not necessarily songs to have on in the car driving through a slow-down zone, but windows down, singing top of your voice! So, to the song themselves. ‘Up to Something’ has direct lyrics that challenge the devil on his actions and crimes against humanity. Alongside Caspar’s vocals, are thundering guitar riffs and drum breats, before his trademark solo sound appears during a short break. Then, we mustn’t forget the Rene Truex’s electric fiddle playing! The following ‘Gather’ is a slightly lighter tune that is calling us to gather around Jesus and the simple truths; ‘He is willing to deliver and receive us’ ‘Knowing the truth makes you free.’ Track 5 is a change of feeling. There’s a more positive set of riffs, a brighter sound, and great bass lines. If that’s not enough, there’s some great, vocal harmonies, as Caspar asks if you are ‘Unredeemable?’ The song is a reminder that no-one is beyond redemption. It’s a simple gospel message, with a violin rock solo, which then makes away for more screaming guitar licks. As I write, I’m not a quarter of the way through the CD and I already want to start it again, as it is so good! I would love to comment on each track but the review would be just too long. Just an acoustic guitar and strings are used on ‘No Eye Has Seen.’ The feel is almost McCartneyish, yet distinctly Caspar. Lyrically, you could imagine it being pulled from scripture as it is portrayed as a psalm. Yet these are Caspar’s own words. ‘What You’re looking For’ has a touch of The Travelling Wilberys about it. Close my eyes, and I could visualise the likes of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan singing this one! I try not to find group styles when describing tracks here and there. But, I guess, we have similar musical roots and it brings so many memories of great bands, and this band is no exception! The second disc continues with a mix of Rock, Country rock and, now and again, good pop songs such as ‘Darker and Lighter.’ Lyrically, the song tells of the darkness of this world, but also offers the light of the world in the shape of our Saviour. Another highlight of the track listing is ‘Watch and Pray.’ It’s back to pure rock with a great arrangement. Once again, those violin sounds flow over grungy guitars, while Caspar reminds us to watch and pray. There are so many great tracks, and even an instrumental or two! Joined by his musical comrades, Carlos Merced on drums, Donovan SL on keyboards, the previously mentioned Rene on violin, Caspar’s band are unique, yet so familiar at times. As well as during the sung lyrics, you can feel the joy of being able to convey God’s love in such a way. I would love to see the band live. In the meantime, I look forward to listening this again and again. 10/10 Noel Donaldson
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