Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Nervous on the Road/New Favorites
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
leeleedee | Lexington, KentuckyCincinnati | 12/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Nervous on the Road" is the only essential album by this group. Their first album sounded like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or someone--an unpleasant thing indeed. "Despite It All" has some decent country-rockin' tunes; "Silver Pistol" is all right but just about ruined by too much organ. "New Favourites" is their attempt at soul-music-lite, I suppose, and they don't do a half-bad job on the Hi Records classic "Trying to Live My Life Without You." "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding" is a great song but Elvis Costello did it far better. But it is basically an English version--as is pub-rock in general--of music done much better by Americans, which I believe the perpetrators themselves would readily admit. However, "Nervous" does add a certain pawky humor to the basic r&b/soul/country template; no American artist would have started out a song, as does Nick Lowe, by asserting that he is "scumbag bound." And for once, the keyboardist doesn't overpower the music, leaving room for Mr. Schwarz to indulge himself with his very best Robbie Robertson imitations. They confuse the lyrics on Chris Kenner's "I Like It Like That" and bring in some pretty amusing astrological stuff on "Don't Lose Your Grip on Love." In general, "Nervous" works where most Brinsley Schwarz and pub-rock doesn't because it contains an undercurrent of something real, something very post-'60s, rueful but funny, and the unpretentiousness of its models suggests a way out of hippiedom, which of course is satirized in "Peace Love and Understanding." But as an American, I hardly see how most "pub-rock" is an improvement on the real thing; makes you ponder how the rock and roll era obscured American music like Otis Clay while upholding dreck like Jethro Tull or Yes as worthwhile stuff, and why it took English musicians to hip us to what we were doing in our own country."
The best of pub rock and early Nick Lowe
email@example.com | Singapore | 07/20/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD combines two of the best Brinsley Schwarz albums and ("New Favourites") the best produced. The Brinsleys always were at their rocking sexiest live ("Down in the Dive") and the numbers they played best are here ("Feel a Little Funky", "Surrender to the Rhythm"). Watch out for Nick Lowe's "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding", often wrongly attributed to Elvis Costello. I can hear the Brinsleys now rehearsing it in the basement of the Hope & Anchor, Islington. It's summer outside, I've got my first pint and about two hours to enjoy before the gig begins..."
Pub rock's highpoint
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 07/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having found more original footing than their earlier attempts at CSN&Y styled folk-rock, Brinsley Schwarz made good on the roots-rock promise of pub rock with their fourth album, "Nervous on the Road." Nick Lowe dominates the 1972 album's songwriting credits, and though he went on to greater fame as a pure popster, he may never have authored such a singularly solid collection of songs. Ian Gomm and Bob Andrews each kick in for one apiece, with Gomm's excellent 50s-styled "It's Been So Long" taking the opening slot. Lowe's songs range from the twangy blue title song to organ-lined soul and country ballads. The album's covers are perfect fits, including a slightly ragged take of Chris Kenner's "I Like It Like That" and Ronnie Self's rockabilly "Home in My Hand." In a sense, Brinsley Schwarz showed itself to be the UK analog of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen - a band whose roots took in country, soul, funk and early rock and strained them all through a really good time.
BGO's two-fer also includes the band's sixth (and final) release, 1974's "The New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz." Lowe's original vision of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" opens with some overly aggressive percussion, but the laid-back vocal (and the chorus harmonies) give the song a tone very unlike the subsequent Elvis Costello cover. Once again Lowe's songs dominate the set list, but seem to cut a less-inspired middle-ground between the rootsy invention of "Nervous" and the quirky pop breakthrough of 1978's "Jesus of Cool." Most satisfying is the band's funky cover of the Hi Records (by way of Otis Clay and O.V. Wright) classic "Trying to Live My Life Without You." Overall, the album's production feels crowded, with instruments and voices fighting for space. The balance that was found on "Nervous" seems to have been lost; apparently producer Dave Edmunds still hadn't completely figured out Spector's wall of sound.
Nervous: 5-stars. New Favorites: 3-1/2 stars."