Bristol based Elles Bailey releases her follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut “Wildfire” without any of that “second album” worry in sight. “Road I Call Home” is a phenomenal successor, and proves her great live reaction is well founded.
For the year and a half since “Wildfire” was released in September 2017, Elles has been touring relentlessly, picking up life-stories that have shaped this record. Blues, rock, country and Americana blend faultlessly to produce a fine second offering.
Autobiographical opener “Hell Or High Water” is a fantastic intro to the album, starting with bluesy guitar and building to a southern rock belter.
“Wild Wild West” is unsurprisingly more country in style, and shows the range in Bailey’s voice well. This is followed by softer ”Deeper”, about wanting love. It features some nice brass mixed with Hammond organ to great effect.
“What’s The Matter With You” contrasts it’s predecessor, being a “falling out of love” song with a jazz/blues feel to it. “Medicine Man” steps up next, possibly a metaphor for the man in the previous song! It’s more rocky blues number, with slide and lead guitar mixing well.
Title track “Road I Call Home” refers maybe to Elles’ pounding tour schedule. Touring seemingly non-stop takes its toll, but she loves it – as can be witnessed at any of her live shows. And it has certainly helped her get where she is today.
“Foolish Hearts” is another love story, starting with piano and Bailey’s superb jazz tones, soon joined by soft drums, guitar and Hammond again. It’s a beautiful song, beautifully written and put together. “Help Somebody” has you nodding your head in time to the beat of drums, surrounded by horns again. Harmonica features too, adding to the mix of a great song.
Another great track is “Little Piece Of Heaven” – a perfect little piece of Americana in a love song, and is followed by penultimate track “Miss Me When I’m Gone”. Bluesy guitar and Hammond start this song well, and are followed by a really catchy beat – possibly the favourite of the album.
“Light In The Distance” is a mellow end to a great album. Jazzy voice and piano wind the collection down nicely – if you were allowed to, this would be the “lighter” song of the live set.
All in all a great album, following and building on the debut. Bailey has matured, and the songs are a progression, telling the story of life from one record to the next. If you liked “Wildfire”, you will love this.
The album was recorded in Nashville and at Monnow Valley Studios in Wales, produced, engineered and mixed by Steve Blackmon, and mastered at Tone and Volume Mastering. It was released in March 2019, and belongs in your collection!
Catch Elles on the road she really does call home – on tour around the country. Dates and all information can be found on her website – www.ellesbailey.com.