Cambridgeshire based singer songwriter Soloman Smith returns with another fine set of songs.
Release Date: 1st August 2023
Label: Confidential Records
Format: CD / digital
Blurring the lines between Folk, Soul and Blues, Y’dig That! proves to be another great record and a worthy successor to 2021’s Birdland Reappraised. Opening track Analog with its circling riff and biting social commentary starts the proceedings on a great note. The bluesy System Ain’t Equal Ain’t Fair (featuring some great guitar work by Chris Newman) and the title track pursue a similar vein lyrically, reflecting in their sentiment the troubled times we live in.
Dissonance in the Note, written at the start of the Ukraine Invasion is a heartfelt sketch of the writer’s impressions on the conflict. The Real Mary J features an excellent piano solo by Art Toper and is another slice of observations on our time and the greed that runs through our society. Toulouse, a well-crafted tale of an artist’s life, features a rather great set of lyrics set to a fine melody hiding its tough subject in an amiable arrangement. The gentle picking of Nora (titled after James Joyce’s wife) manages in just over three minutes to encapsulate a love story with great empathy. We are back in funkier territory with Percussion, a track that enables the band to stretch it musical muscles over the steady beat provided by Malek Hyde-Smith, a cosmic tale weaving all things drumming and matters of the heart!
The groovy Five Spot Note driven by Toper’s piano proves to be one of the album’s most uplifting tracks while the ruminative D’you Still Burn ebbs and flows as our narrator unravels his tale. The catchy The Devil and Mister Leech based on a 17th-century Cambridgeshire folk tale enables the band to lay down a fine groove before The Crooner’s Elegy provides a tremendous coda to a fine album.
Here’s Dissonance In The Note – “a song in the first couple of weeks of the invasion of Ukraine. The reference is that life is like music glorious in all its forms. However, occasionally, someone comes along and ‘jarrs the melody’, creating a dissonance!“