Songs From My Subaru #2
Cry of Love: Brother
For some reason, certain great albums just get swallowed up and ultimately lost amongst the mist that is the next big thing. In 1993 I had the greatest job I have ever had…for the lowest pay too I might add. I was working at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus and was surrounded by music, struggling musician colleagues and a revolving rotunda of famous musos who popped in like every other day. But, this was the time of Brit-Pop and Grunge, so when a rock-roots-funk record out of Raleigh, North Carolina hit the Rock-CD floor (where I was a based)…it barely raised an eyebrow. Maybe the fact that they also named themselves after a posthumous Jimi Hendrix release didn’t do them any favours either, but having heard the band interviewed on Radio 1 by Bob Harris, I was intrigued enough to grab a ticket for their one and only show in London at The Borderline.
WOW…the Cry of Love gig at that tiny sweaty club still rates up there as one of the best nights of music I have ever witnessed. Founded by the uber-dextrous Strat-slinger Audley Freed who would later join The Black Crowes, and fronted by the amazing Kelly Holland, whose voice can best best described as a perfect amalgam of Robert Plant, Paul Rogers and Chris Cornell…this was a band on fire. They blew the roof off the venue and then largely disappeared from rock n roll consciousness. I have kept tabs on Audley Freed over the years as his playing is simply sublime, but these days he plies his trade in Sheryl Crow’s band…what a shame. The greatest tragedy though is Holland. Unable to cope with the relentless touring brought about with the release of Brother, he left Cry of Love and wound up broke, depressed and living a destructive existence in a skanky boarding house. Eventually passing away aged just 52, it’s a crime to think that those masterful ‘pipes’ would only be tracked to tape just this once. So, if you like Zeppelin, Free, the Black Crowes…or even think that Greta Van Fleet are alright (damn plagiarists), then you best check this album out. Raw, emotive and damn infectious, ‘Brother’ sounds like a band that have spent their last dime on an hour’s worth of recording…and what an hour it is.