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17.4.12

Mitch Laddie



Mitch Laddie - Burning Bridges - 2012 - Mystic

Mitch Laddie has got the likes of Walter Trout hailing him as the finest blues-rock guitarist of his generation. Well, the 21-year-old from North East England shows his prowess on Burning Bridges (Mystic Records). It is neither a guitar extravaganza, nor an overtly blues-related album. Rather, Laddie uses the opportunity to prove he has an individual flair and touch. The songs are thoughtful and the attention to musical detail is undeniable. But what really impresses is that the passion is never subsumed by technique. That’s a rare skill in itself. © Classic Rock Magazine

21 y.o Mitch Laddie has played guitar seriously since he was 13. He first met Walter Trout at a gig in Sunderland in the mid 2000's. Walter was impressed, asked Mitch for a CD and soon after invited Mitch to guest at his 2006 Colne gig in. Mitch and Walter regularly play UK gigs together. Mitch's first band was Vanilla Moon in 2006, becoming The Mitch Laddie Trio in 2008, with the original Vanilla Moon bass player Rhian Wilkinson and drummer Lee "Cliffy" Clifford. The band is based in County Durham but Mitch prefers to be linked to Newcastle.The trio have had considerable success on both the MCC Rally and festival circuit playing a mixture of originals and covers. His playing is influenced by greats like SRV (Mitch's fav album is SRV's "Texas Flood"), Eric Johnson, Hendrix, Eric Gales, John Mayer, Robin Trower, Peter Green and many more, but Mitch has his own unique style. When asked about the type of music his band play, Mitch said"Blues rock of course. But we are prettily heavily funk influenced and I’m quite into my fusion and jazz too. I’d say we generally just gather our influences and throw them all together and see what happens." "Burning Bridges" has soul, jazz, blues, rock, and fusion and all the tracks are Laddie originals. On the cover notes to "Burning Bridges" Walter Trout writes “I first met Mitch Laddie when he was a young lad of sixteen years. I heard him play his guitar and was knocked out by the authority, command and finesse he displayed. It was beyond his years – he sounded like somebody who’d been at it for forty years!" Speaking about blues music in general, Mitch says "Even if players are similar, they’ve still got their own touch that makes the hairs on your arms stand up. It’s not just the guitar side of it; the diva blues singers do it too. It’s the raw emotion and the feeling that is put into it and you just don’t get that in other types of music. The passion is always there. It’s real". Mitch is another of the new breed of young British blues stars in the making. He is an exceptional talent and a guy who is heading for recognition as one of the British guitar greats. "Burning Bridges" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Mitch's "This Time Around" album and support real music [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 84.4 Mb]

TRACKS

1.Time Is Running Away
2.Paper In Your Pocket
3.Take A Bite
4.Would You?
5.What Are You Living For?
6.Changing Tides & Burning Bridges
7.Gone
8.Gettin’ It Right
9.Inner City Blues
10.Give You The World
11.Mr Johnson Revisited

All songs composed by Mitch Laddie

BAND

Mitch Laddie - Guitar, Vocals
Rhian Wilkinson - Bass
Lee Clifford - Drums, Percussion

REVIEWS

Following on from a cracking first album This Time Around is Mitch Laddie’s second album Burning Bridges which is due for general release on the 12th March. Although TTA is a solid album I felt that it was very much a showcase for Mitch’s unquestionable ability on the fret-board more than anything else, but as soon as you hear the heavy and very meaty bass driven hook from the first track of Burning Bridges you know this is album going to be very different. I feel it is fair to say that Burning Bridges is a much more commercial offering than TTA and will without question appeal to a much wider audience. We still have the intense guitar solos that make the hairs on the back of your neck dance around, but on a lesser scale, which for me only makes them much more intense and powerful. Also with this album we are treated to a much richer and solid sound that not only continues to highlight Mitch’s ability as a guitarist / song writer, but also highlights the ability of the band as well. With some sublime bass riffs and hooks from Rhian and Lee tying it together with some fast paced skin action, we are now getting to see the complete picture and I quite like it. As for my previous comment regarding being a much more commercial offering. Whilst sticking to the blues / jazz / format that Mitch is known for we are also seeing another softer side of Mitch with tracks such as ‘Would You’, ‘Gone’ & ‘Give You The World’ which from the vocal point of view and sudden key changes contain essence of Sting in his later years which is a clear sign of how much Mitch has grown and matured since TTA. Burning Bridges itself is very much laid out as you would a gig set list. It hits you hard and then eases off then hits you hard again and this format works well. So well in fact that I’ve been playing this CD pretty much none stop in the office over the last couple of weeks and I can see no reason why this should change in the near future. Included on the CD is ‘Mr Johnson Revisited’. Now I’m aware that this track is an ongoing project for Mitch and a firm favourite at gigs, but I’m really not sure it has a valid place on the CD. Maybe it is just me, but I just feel that sometimes it is better to move forward and not try to improve on what is a near perfect song. Anyone that has not got TTA in their collection will love it, but I personally would have liked to see another new track in its place, but overall this does not detract from what is an excellent CD, it is just a personal preference. Stand out track for me has to be ‘Give You The World’, lyrically excellent with the chilled out and laid-back feel of Clapton with a hint of Sting. It doesn’t come much better than this and I look forward to seeing this performed live if for no other reason than the extended guitar solo that I know will find its way in there. All in all this is an excellent second album from Mitch. It was never going to be an easy feat to follow up on what was such a good first album, but Mitch has succeeded. If this is the way Mitch is moving forward then I for one am really looking forward to album number three. © The Midlands Rocks

'Burning Bridges' is about right. The guitar playing is some of the heaviest Blues I've heard in ages - he is right up there with Philip Sayce in terms of power and inflammatory playing but he also has a dark voice and smouldering style coupled to playing that is well outside what you would expect of a twenty year old. He mixes up power and intensity with remarkable subtlety. Opener 'Time Is Running Away' is all about power and intensity but by the time you get to 'Would You?' he is almost in jazz territory with delicate style and deftness of touch and 'Changing Lanes And Burning Bridges' played on a metal strung acoustic that you would not believe came from the same hands as the opener. His version of 'Inner City Blues' is like nothing Stevie Wonder ever imagined but it sounds 'right' - today's inner city is not funky - and then he ends with 'Mr Johnson Revisited' and you cannot believe that this is the same player; a wonderful instrumental Blues ballad that just puts a smile on your face and warmth in your heart. Through all of this he shows soul and feel for the music, this isn't all about technique by any means, and he gives no sense of playing about for ego: insofar as you can hear commitment this has it in spades. I have to say that this is also a real burst of FUN. It is a delight to listen to a man enjoying himself and doing the thing he was made to do and he puts that over effortlessly. Mitch is one of a raft of excellent British guitarists at the moment, what with Oli Brown, Virgil McMahon, Danny Bryant as well as the likes of Ian Siegel and Matt Schofield and he sounds as though he can match up to any of them. He was mentored in his early days by the wonderful Walter Trout and I have no doubt that he learnt a great deal about the business from him but he sounds as though he has been given the space to find his own sound and that shines through here. Lovers of guitar based music will be having their wallets drained at the moment but I reckon this is one of the essentials. © www.music-news.com

Mitch Laddie is a 21-year old singer/guitarist/songwriter from the North East of England. On Burning Bridges, he is backed by Rhian Wilkinson on bass and Lee Clifford on drums and percussion. The album contains eleven tracks, all written by Mitch Laddie. The cover notes to the album are written by Walter Trout, who warmly expresses his admiration of Mitch Laddie’s talent including the following tributes: “I first met Mitch Laddie when he was a young lad of sixteen years. I heard him play his guitar and was knocked out by the authority, command and finesse he displayed. It was beyond his years – he sounded like somebody who’d been at it for forty years! Trout goes on to praise Laddie’s considerable development and declares, “He possesses a potent, god-given gift. I believe that Mitch represents the finest of the new generation of guitar slingers/performers!” The album demonstrates Mitch Laddie’s command of a range of guitar styles, starting with the steady rocking “Time Is Running Away”, complete with an overriding catchy guitar riff, and “Paper In Your Pocket”, which exudes a distinctively Hoax feel with a driving bass line and a blistering guitar solo. “Take A Bite” and “Would You?” deliver Sting-like vocals, while the latter and “What Are You Living For?” provide a lighter, funky-edged ambience, expertly underpinned by the impressively tight rhythm section. “Changing Tides And Burning Bridges” is a jazzy, acoustic instrumental before “Gone” suggests further shades of The Police and features another brilliantly executed guitar solo. “Gettin’ It Right” and “Inner City Blues”, a couple of funky rockers, are followed by “Give You The World”, a sensitive ballad, and the closing track, “Mr Johnson Revisited”, a beautifully played, mellow instrumental. There are currently many fine, young, blues-oriented guitarists in the UK but Mitch Laddie offers something different from many of his peers in that he very comfortably mixes vibrant blues-rock with gentler, more lyrical compositions. He is most definitely a force to be reckoned with and we can look forward to his increasing presence on the British blues scene. The considerable skill of Rhian Wilkinson and Lee Clifford in his engine room also deserves full acknowledgement. © www.BluesintheNorthwest.com

‘Burning Bridges’ is an aptly titled second album from the young rock-blues guitarist Mitch Laddie. He’s broken with his past and taken gigantic steps in developing his own style on a confident album that bristles with deep tones, steely riffs and intense playing. He’s equally at home playing rock, blues and fusion and 'Burning Bridges’ has all three styles in abundance on a self produced, coherent album on which nothing is laboured or overplayed and the power of suggestion reigns supreme. Sure he sometimes likes to rock out with a dirt sounding tone and lean into to some heavy riff driven grooves full of spiralling solos on road tested nuggets. But in his role as a producer he’s taken the songs a step further by polishing them in the studio without losing the inherent fire and spontaneous band interplay. The result is his most assured work so far. The key to Mitch’s breakthrough comes from his willingness to jam on a riff and see where it takes him. There are hints of grunge, full blown hard rock, tightly wrapped funk, and outright slash and burn rocking on songs like ‘Take A Bite’. But there’s a complexity at play, as evidenced by the diffidently explored funk of ‘Would You’ and the staccato, stop-start guitar lines of ‘Gone’, two songs which are heavily reminiscent of Carl Verheyen. And there’s enough thoughtful sequencing, and a subtle use of dynamics to contribute to the overall flow of the album leads to the stellar fusion finish of 'Mr. Johnson Revisited'. ‘Burning Bridges’ opens with ‘Time Is Running Away’ - with distant echoes of Oli Brown’s ‘Psycho’ with a much heavier undertow - before his guitar explodes all over the track. The impressive start gets even better on to the live favourite ‘Paper In Your Pocket’, which is an object exercise in dynamics as his rhythm section pushes him every inch of the way. And in those rare moments when Mitch’s’ diction is clouded by the arrangement, he lets his magical guitar playing take the strain, adding a fluent run here or a sudden stop there, before achieving closure with an avalanche of riffs. ‘Burning Bridges’ is of course a guitar album but one that crosses genres and extends basic song structures in interesting and unexpected ways, whether on the metronomic muscular funk of ‘What Are You Living For’ or the smoking riff led groove of ‘Getting It Right’. Each song acts reveals itself like a layer in an onion. You peel away one layer and you find there’s more to explore. And it’s Mitch’s sense of adventure that makes ‘Burning Bridges’ such a satisfying album. Listen to the way the guitar break on 'What Are You Living For' gives the song a belated lift and allows him to indulge in an angular solo that enhances rather than obfuscates the track. Listen also to the mesmerising delicate touch on the acoustic title track or the stuttering solo on ‘Getting It Right’ and you are hearing a guitarist who refuses to deliver a full blown solo until he’s explored every possible dynamic along the way. The short tension breaking solo when it does finally arrive evokes mid 70’s jazz fusion era Jeff Beck, but Mitch quickly locks into the groove and lets the piece breathe before a perfunctory but succinct ending. The trio stretch out and shift considerable amounts of air molecules on the tougher ‘Inner City Blues’ before the contrasting late night jazzy blues of the heartfelt ‘Give You The World’. It’s a soulful and sophisticated song with Mitch’s best vocal, proving he’s equally confident when giving himself space and time as when he’s rattling off a volley of notes. It might not quite be the show stopping ballad he was aiming for but it’s pretty damn close and sounds like a new mature strand to his song writing cannon. Mitch adds some expressive phrasing and a melodic solo full of poise and a rich tone on a mature composition that belies a 21 year old on his self produced second album. But the best is yet to come on ‘Mr. Johnson Revisited’, which presents him with a perfect calling card of sonic beauty. The closing track evokes the feel of a painter filling a canvas with the most delicate of brush strokes, unhurriedly exploring different hues and textures with the deftest of touch. Mitch derives equal measures of emotion and technique from the song through different tones, pregnant pauses and an intuitive grasp of dynamics. He finally adds a sprinkle of harmonics on a perfect track shot through with the ghost of Pat Metheny. ‘Burning Bridges’ isn’t so much a slow burner as an album with hidden depth that offers more with each repeated listen. It’s an album that confirms both his chops and an improving vocal style but above all establishes Mitch Laddie as a song writer of substance. Rock-blues never sounded so innovative and refreshing. © Pete Feenstra - Get Ready to Rock

5 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

p/w is aoofc

mac said...

More rock than blues,not that Im complaining, its a brilliant album on first listen and some excellent acoustic guitar on track 6 ,reckon Ill be playing this a lot

Thanks for sharing

Mac

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, Mac! The guy is good and will get better. Thanks, & keep in touch...P

diamonddave said...

Jeeziz, this guys is good - and I ain't never heard of him. Excellent and thanks for sharing. Keep on rockin in the free world!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, DD. Mitch is a hell of a player and very original. Great to know you appreciate the guy's music. TVM, & TTU soon. KORITFW!...P