Thursday, November 3, 2011

REVIEW: The Windsor Player - The Windsor Player

The Windsor Player is a new group led by Troy Stewart, who plays guitar with Snow Patrol... he's recruited something of an all-star cast: Scott McCaughey (R.E.M., The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows), Gregg Williams (Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris), Jote Osahn (Elbow, Gorillaz), Chris Schleyer (Prick, Kidneythieves) and additional players Peter Buck (R.E.M., The Minus 5) and Richard Coburn (Belle & Sebastian, Snow Patrol).

The sound varies from well-played folk rock - song 1, "Release" - to country rock that calls to mind 70's stalwarts like The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and Poco - "Big Texas Sky" - to laid-back sprawling guitar rock on the 8-minute "Best Friend". The influences are good ones, and the vision of country rock is well realized.

Plenty of great guitar sounds throughout - rock guitar, acoustic strumming and pedal steel - are underpinned by a good rhythm section and augmented by strings, piano and mandolin (the aforementioned Peter Buck). There are even well-placed horn parts among the guitars on "Best Friend", too.

Closing track "Big Texas Sky" captures the ethos pretty well - big, sprawling and warm... You can listen and order at Windsor Player Website.

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