Review: Thomas Wynn – 'Wade Waist Deep'

Sometimes an album will just pass you by and go undetected, then your paths cross and it becomes an instant facepalm moment. ‘Wade Waist Deep’ from Thomas Wynn And The Believers is a perfect example. Feeling in a southern kinda mood after paying respects to the late Gregg Allman, YouTube spat out out Thomas Wynn And The Believers and that was all they wrote. To say that southern rock is enjoying a renaissance would suggest that it actually disappeared in the first place. It’s always been around, it’s just a bit more fashionable now. ‘Wade Waist Deep’ is less commercial southern rock than the last few albums from Blackberry Smoke, which I felt were a tad diluted. The difference that makes the album standout from the pack is the more soulful aspect to the overall sound, thanks mainly, I feel, to the combined vocal prowess of Wynn himself and his sibling Olivia Wynn. For instance, opener ‘Man Out Of Time’ features a gorgeous, floating, almost native-American-like vocal from Olivia during the intro, and throughout the four minutes. Her voice is the one that you hear the most on this dark, brooding opening track. I love the drum beat from Ryan Miranda, simple but very effective in providing the song with the all important backbone. Thomas Wynn takes over the lead vocals on the title track, which owes more to the gospel sound of Al Green and other greats than it does to anything remotely southern. ‘Heartbreak Alley’ is a smouldering few minutes that feature a stunning keyboard sound from Colin Fei. His keyboard work is crucial to the band in the way that Benmont Tench is to Tom Petty, and Jon Lord was to anything that he put his name to. His piano playing on ‘My Eyes Won’t Be Open’ is simply stunning, and proves yet again that you don’t need to overpower someone to have an effect. The song itself is gorgeous, with both Wynn’s taking it in turn to impress with some heartfelt, soulful vocals. Another highlight is ‘I Don’t Regret’ which features a hair-raising duet between both vocalists. Thomas proves that he is also quite a guitarist as he peels off soulful chord after soulful chord on the track just edging ahead as favourite on the album. The pace changes through the gears on ‘You Can’t Hear Me’, which features a wicked guitar sound throughout and an almighty keyboard/harmonica jam towards the end. One of the heavier moments on the album, the song positively sizzles, as does ‘Burn As One’, a veritable feast of power chords, smoking riffs, and vocals from Olivia Wynn that will have you constantly screaming “hell yeah”. On closing track ‘We Could All Die Screaming’ it’s Thomas Wynn that handles the lead vocals. Warm, gritty and able to stop a charging rhino in it’s tracks, it’s a show-stopping performance of the highest calibre. Likewise, his guitar playing is phenomenal, especially on the heavier breakdown towards the end. It’s a wall of screaming feedback, and a perfect way to end the album. With ‘Wade Waist Deep’, Thomas Wynn And The Believers prove that there is indeed plenty of life still left in the south. Available now through Mascot Label Group. Follow Thomas Wynn on Facebook Review: Dave Stott    ]]>

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