Some players bring an extra helping of heart and soul to the table. Matt Schofield is one of those players. He always brings his “A” game, and then some. He won the British Blues Awards Guitarist of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He also won the British Blues Awards Album of the Year in 2010 for Heads, Tails & Aces. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to experience Schofield live will vouch for his superior performances.
As Far As I Can See, on Provogue Records, features 11 performances and clocks in at 62 minutes, allowing listeners to really experience the music. Joining Schofield are multi-instrumentalist Jordan John on skins, Jonny Henderson rocking the keyboards, and Carl Stanbridge holding down a solid groove on bass. Sound quality is excellent throughout, and the mix really affords listeners the opportunity to wallow in the music.
Schofield and company really deliver here. The album is well balanced, and well played throughout. Standout cuts include “From Far Away,” with it’s luscious guitar harmonies, over a kickin’ groove, dressed out with perfect touches of Henderson’s organ sprinkled about. “Clean Break” is a delicious helping of soul, and “Getaway” serves up numerous fluid guitar runs, smooth bass, and again, some solid organ riffs from Henderson.
Other excellent cuts are the funky blues, “Hindsight,” with it’s gusty heart, and great beat, set off with horns brilliantly punctuating the festivities. Schofield plays a tight solo, and the band really shines here. Another righteous track is the Neville Brothers’ “Yellow Moon,” presented here as sophisticated and smooth, smooth, smooth. On the almost 10 minute “Red Dragon” Schofield gives us slow blues rock, with a nod to the ‘60s that is definitely not cliche.
Schofield’s playing is right on the money, with fine tone, and feel throughout. The band does an excellent job, not only backing him, but also as active, integral contributors to the success of these performances.
As Far As I Can See is an exceptional outing for Schofield, and worth every penny of the admission price.