the mike davies column december 2017

An acoustic roots five piece from Moseley,THE LOST NOTES line up as guitarists Ben Mills and Oli Jobes and Lucy Mills provide the vocals with Silas Wood on double bass and Jamie Human behind the drums. Their debut album, Run Free Right Now, is a stylistically diverse set, kicking off with hayride foot-stomping Green Grass before Lucy steps into the vocal spotlight for the fingerpicked Bobby, a waltzing kiss-off with crooning chorus that gets a live reprise as a bonus track. The pace picks up again with the jaunty strummed All At Sea (which also gets a vocal remix) before all three voices join together for the bluegrassy Banker’s Blues, a playful swipe at the self-interested financial profession.

The-Lost-NoteS

In similar mode is the Jobes-penned A Leader Of Men, a Guthriesque romp in which he bemoans being unable to follow in the footsteps Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Maggie Thatcher because of health and safety regulations

Turning to their gentler side, the five-minute I’ll Wait Until The Sunrise is a folksier waltz with lyrics drawing on the age old folk story/fairy tale of a woman setting her suitor a series of task to complete before morning, while Lonely With You is a slow waltzing number about missing a lost love.

Turning to 60s folk blues influences, Touch The Sky is the other Jobes’ number, the guitar work suggesting Jansch and Graham, coloured by Wood’s bowed double bass, the album taking another stylistic swerve with the blues-gospel swing Take My Hand, that starts with finger-clicking and Mills singing a capella before the guitars join in as it shuffles between southern gospel and New Orleans flavoured jazz.

The Lost Notes - Run Free Right Now

Of the last two tracks, Stone In My Shoes is a fractious relationship list song with a train tempo blues groove and buzzing harmonica, the album proper ending with the mid-tempo title track’s call to escape the urban pressures for a simpler life of music, chasing the sun and dancing with the breeze, gathering to a crescendo and quiet close. The diversity means it doesn’t always flow as fluidly it might, but there’s no doubting the quality or the talent.

roots-and-branches.com 2017