Awesome review of the Starlite Campbell Band new album Blueberry Pie by Graham Munn of the Slap Magazine
Starlite Campbell | Blueberry Pie
Not a familiar name? Look out for the tour when Suzy Starlite takes bass, Simon Campbell takes guitar and percussion alongside Steve Gibson on additional percussion and Jonny Henderson on keyboards in 'Blueberry Pie'. Suzy was born and raised in nearby Ross before heading off to Uni.
Suzy and Simon married in '14, creating the recipe that cooked up this dish to be served up on Feb 1st '17, ideal for a SLAP up feast. Cut in through the crust and you will reveal the rich blue colour of 'Walking Out The Door'. With a 60's groove of early F/Mac and John Mayall, Simon's vocals bubble on the surface as the guitar oozes juicily through with Jonny's Hammond giving it that vintage touch. It's a tasty opening that invites another slice that has a pulsating bass at the heart of it. 'I Need Light' boasts a lightly dancing drum rhythm that flits over the top of the bass, making it subtle with a lingering flavour.
We up the pace and the era with 'Your So Good For Me'. With its 70's styling, superb guitar and Hendo keys, it's one for the slick and stylish. Then the pace drops as weeping guitar floats in for soulful, smouldering blues. Simon stays on vocal lead for 'Cry Over You', a classic tear jerker of a song with the essence of Gary Moore. All aboard for railroading blues with smoking harp notes in 'Say What You Want', it's Chicago Blues and I'm not complaining about the ride. There are 11 succulent portions in this dish, big slices to satisfy all tastes. Title track 'Blueberry Pie' is acoustic with lovely harmonies, and satisfying slide - all the best dishes are simple!
Suzy takes vox for the smouldering, dark, juice stained 'Guilty'. The undercurrent is throbbing bass and drum, laced with superb Hammond and gorgeous guitar, bridging the vocals. A 'Guilty' pleasure indeed.
Stevie Ray, Texas styling ripples throughout the 'Empire' before slide comes back to hand with a mellow, easy drinking Merlot sound. Jonny is still in there on the keys in 'Don't Get Me Wrong', it's a delightful, tongue firmly in cheek song. And 'Shimmy' is just that, a jazz infused late interlude with honeyed guitar, percussive rhythms, and that bloody lovely Hammond. The sort of stuff used for 'the in scene, uber cool' club music for late 60's films takes us to the finale, a slow burning 'Thrill You'. A late night smoocher that finds your inner soul to close an album that fits like a soft leather glove.
Starlite Campbell are based in Spain, just North of Valencia, where their studio is fitted out with choice vintage and the best of today's recording equipment, meaning 'Blueberry Pie' is indeed a quality offering. I would liked to have heard Suzy take vocals perhaps for more than just the one track but that's not a criticism really. This album brings memories of Garrard SP25 and Rogers Amp, Wharfdale Linton's and 12” vinyl fresh from shop, Mayall, Mac, taken with Cream!
Blueberry Pie is laden with rich fruit, go get yourself a slice.
By Graham Munn of Slap Magazine, February 2017