The lead off single in July which is also the title track showed plenty of promise for the upcoming solo album from Jim Kirkpatrick. Due for release on Sept.4th 2020 via US One Records, you don’t really need a crystal ball to guess the quality of the rest of the eleven tracks here.
Said single contains lyrics of Jim returning to his solo work,taking a break from his duties with FM, Rhino’s Revenge and Bernie Marsden. “Now I’m back in town do you remember my name? Now I’m back in town do I still look the same? If you wanna hear the story I’ll tell you the one. All about my life in the ballad of a prodigal son”. A powerful statement of intent.
‘No Such Thing As A Sure Thing’ is a hip swinging hoedown, definitely a sure thing with its finger clicking grooves. Catchy but heavy riffs drive it towards attention grabbing choruses. Jim has a quick run around his fretboard that heralds a blistering solo two thirds of the way in.
‘Ain’t Going Down Alone’ is a blues tinged heart melting ballad. The almost spoken word delivery adds more emotion as the song elevates on a flurry of notes for a brief guitar solo.
An Allman Brothers vibe rises up in the instrumental ‘Blue Heron Boulevard’. A feel good piece, the sort of song you want to go on forever.
‘Be Hard With It’ lives up to its monicker as Jim goes into full on guitar hero mode with gritty riffing. Swathes of keyboards add textures until a guitar outro of wah-wah and whammy bar overload blazes away.
An earworm riff for ‘Skin And Bone’ grabs you from the off and doesn’t let go throughout this charming little ditty. Lyrical content tells how we feel after a heavy Saturday night out.
A Motown feel comes from a brass section in ‘Always On The Road’. It’s lyrically uplifting as well as musically, telling about touring and the choruses are an aural adrenaline rush to the ears.
’61 and 49′ all about lengthy slide guitar work that blazes a fiery trail as powerful backing vocals from Sarah Miller add lashings of sultry soul.
Soothing keyboards from John Gunstone in ‘Talk To Me’ are the palette for Jim to add his pleading vocals to create a masterpiece of balladry. As if it could not get any more thrilling, a shimmering guitar solo dazzles midway.
‘Gravy Train’ sees this train fueled up to steam along the tracks with some fiery rhythm and blues. It’s a first class ticket to boogie wonderland with lyrics of “Gonna lose my mind take leave of my senses, don’t give me no bill put it down to expenses”.
‘Brave New World’ is seven minutes of soul searching. A trippy first half then heads off into an indulgent fretboard burning freak out of wah-wah and dive bombs until it ends on a whisper.
Another beautiful ballad closes the album. ‘All You Need Is All You Have’ rings true at this moment in time. Its relevancy is proven by a lyric of “Time is a precious thing, it so quickly passes by. Life is a song you sing, will make you laugh will make you cry”.
Ballad Of A Prodigal Son album track listing :-
Ballad Of A Prodigal Son
No Such Thing As A Sure Thing.
Ain’t Going Down Alone.
Blue Heron Boulevard.
Be Hard With It.
Skin And Bone.
Always On The Road.
61 And 49.
Talk To Me.
Brave New World.
All You Need Is All You Have.
The album can be pre-ordered using this link.