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https://www.facebook.com/thedruidsofstonehenge/

My Rating 80/100

The history surrounding “The Druids of Stonehenge” is very well documented from their early forays in the sixties New York ‘garage blues’ scene and the subsequent change of musical direction to reflect the bourgeoning psychedelic fashion sweeping the country. But despite their early popularity they only produced one album being ‘Creation’ on for UNI records. And so it was not until 2017, with the same core of band members, that they assembled and released a collection of old blues numbers under the heading ‘Resurrection’. Apparently stating that it was the album they should have made in the wake of ‘Creation’.  But of course, and by then the so called ‘British Invasion’ was taking a firm hold, rendering the majority of homegrown bands as commercially challenging and so maybe it was for this reason that finances were unavailable for a follow-up album.

However, sufficient interest was generated for the long overdue follow- up album to be finally released and in the bargain earning rave reviews. No surprise then in 2020 a further album of similar ilk following in its wake entitled ‘American Ghosts’.

American Ghosts is an absolutely charming self-penned ten-track album filled to the brim with wonderfully composed bluesy delights. An album that is not only embroiled with deft musicianship but is also saturated and bursting with warmth and humour.  Each of the ten tracks is in itself a separate little gem that tells its own little story wrapped in a bluesy framework very reminisce of the melodic and rhythmic patterns laid down by J. J Cale.

Each of the tracks is wrapped within its own musical framework from, what is in effect, an assorted catalogue of standard bluesy rock / pop arrangements. But, further festooned with style and panache that only a tight group of consummate highly skilled musicians could achieve. The entire programme festooned with gorgeous lead guitar and then an inlaid country blues flavour created with timely injections of melodic pedal steel guitar. In addition swathes of Hammond organ terrific drumming and bass, which ultimately are the glue that holds together each of the individual musical fragments.

The cherry on the cake, however, is the sheer professionalism of frontman Dave Budge whose vocals are delivered with just so much personality and guile, creating the main focal point of interest for the proceedings. The vocals are not just projected as a singing voice alone but they tell the story behind the song in real character terms, imaginative, compelling and riddled with fun.

This is an album for which you will never tire and one which you will frequently pull from the shelf to share with friends. It is a kind of communal album which people will enjoy and would be brilliant to see live especially in a small intimate venue.

Core Band

David Budge –Vocals

Carl Hauser –Guitars.

Billy Cross –Guitars

Tracks and Additional Musicians

The Prettiest Train Vocals – David Budge Lead guitar – Billy Cross Acoustic guitar – CJ Hauser Keyboards – Irvin ‘Magic’ Kramer Bass – CJ Hauser Drums – Henrik Askou

Run For Cover Vocals – David Budge Slide guitar – Billy Cross 2nd Lead guitar – Milt Reder Rhythm guitars – CJ Hauser, Billy Cross Bass – Dean Cassels Drums – Seth Pappas Background vocals – Maria ‘MJ’ Hauser

My Rider is Gone Vocals – David Budge Lead guitar, resonator – Billy Cross Rhythm guitar – CJ Hauser Keyboards – Dan Hemmer Bass – Thorbjørn Appehl Drums – Henrik Askou Background vocals – Billy Cross, CJ Ha

What A Woman Will Do Vocals – David Budge Slide guitar, resonator – Billy Cross Rhythm guitars – CJ Hauser Bass – CJ Hauser Drums – Henrik Askou Background vocals – Billy Cross, CJ Hauser

The Deal Vocals – David Budge Lead guitars – Billy Cross Rhythm guitars – CJ Hauser Bass – Dean Cassels Drums –

Seth Pappas Seven Percent Solution Vocals – David Budge Lead guitar – Billy Cross Rhythm guitars – CJ Hauser Bass – Tom Workman Drums – Roger Kahn Percussion – CJ Hauser, Roger Kahn Dance With the Devil Vocals – David Budge Lead guitars – Billy Cross

Dance With the Devil Vocals – David Budge Lead guitars – Billy Cross Rhythm guitars – CJ Hauser, Milt Reder Keyboards – Dan Hemmer Bass – CJ Hauser Drums – Henrik Askou Background vocals – Billy Cross, CJ Hauser, Maria ‘MJ’ Hauser

Rock Candy Vocals – David Budge Lead guitars – Billy Cross Rhythm guitars – CJ Hauser, Milt Reder Keyboards – Dan Hemmer Bass – CJ Hauser Drums – Henrik Askou Background vocals – Maria ‘MJ’ Hauser, Billy Cross, CJ Hauser

You Got to Pay Vocals – David Budge Lead guitar – Billy Cross Second lead guitar – Milt Reder Rhythm guitar – CJ Hauser Keyboards – Irvin ‘Magic’ Kramer Bass – CJ Hauser Drums – Henrik Askou

Slip Back Away Vocals – David Budge Lead guitars – Billy Cross Rhythm guitars – CJ Hauser Bass – Thorbjørn Appehl Drums – Henrik Askou Background vocals – Billy Cross, CJ Hauser

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