I have given today's blog to author and TV pundit Malcolm Robinson, who emailed me to tell me he "couldn't stop listening to the album", so I asked him if he would be kind enough to review it for us. I didn't however, expect THIS!..........
Tall Stories on Short Street.
The debut album by Tim Bragg and Ross Hemsworth.
Released by Remote Highway Records.
(A review by Malcolm Robinson)
As we know, it’ a tough old musical market out there with many bands trying to edge themselves into mainstream music. But within the quagmire of musical talent, there is sometimes a shining light, and that light, for me, are two talented musicians, Tim Bragg and Ross Hemsworth. Usually when I hear an album for the first time, it takes a while for it to settle in with me, not with this one. With each song I listened to, I thought I was listening to a single it was that good. And what made it all the more special, was the fact that each song was so different, and told a different story. With any song, there is of course a storyline and this album is no different, but we will come to describe these songs in a moment. Firstly, I would just like to say a few words about the make up of the band.
The band’s web site describes multi instrumentalist Tim Bragg’s voice as (and I quote) “Van Morrison meets Phil Lynott, with the odd appearance of Bob Seger” and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with that. It is a strong, raspy powerful voice which adds a certain power to each and every song. Ross Hemsworth, is himself, a very talented musician playing not just the guitar, but keyboards as well.
Both Bragg and Hemsworth have written songs for the album but not as some would think, face to face, but many miles apart? Hemsworth wrote his songs where he resides in the south west coast of the U.K. whilst Tim Bragg wrote his songs in Southern France, both men no doubt honing them over the phone and bedding them in. What strikes the listener whilst listening to this 12 track album, is the diversity of the songs, and it should be pointed out that Bragg and Hemsworth play a lot of the instruments on this album themselves. That said, they are ably helped out by some wonderful session musicians, each of whom have played with some major stars in their time.
Those other musicians who have helped out on this album are, John Goodland (lead guitar on Tall Stories on Short Street), Uli Hanig (lead guitar on New World and The Disappearing Kind), Carl Fitzgerald (lead guitar on Liberty) Mike Knight (lead guitar on Rock City Nights) Robi Bevan (lead guitar on Girl My Money…) Then we have some terrific female backing vocals from Freya Wolf and Cat Lake Benson, whilst assisting on the keyboards we have Michael Marshall and Christian Cowlin from The Wailers. So, a great array of backing talent, all of which helps gel this wonderful album together. The web site for the band, states that there are at least three potential singles within this album, a sentiment I would certainly agree with.
The album’s name is entitled, ‘Tall Stories on Short Street’ and was released on Remote Highway Records on July 31st. So, let us take a look at the 12 tracks on the album. First up, is the song Liberty, written by Tim Bragg and Ross Hemsworth.
1. LIBERTY. (Bragg/Hemsworth)
This is a great start to the album, showcasing the powerful rocking voice of Tim Bragg who tells the story of a man looking for his liberty and his fight to achieve it. We have some powerful lead guitar work by Carl Fitzgerald, ably held up by the powerful drumming by Tim Bragg.
2. FAIRGROUND RIDE. (Bragg/Hemsworth)
A more laid-back track which tells the story of a chap called Ronnie who is working on a fairground carousel. I love the atmospheric keyboard sound which gives a great feel to this track accompanied by some great guitar by Ross Hemsworth.
3. GIRL MY MONEY (SURE LOOKS GOOD ON YOU). (Bevan/Hemsworth)
A powerful lyrical track telling the story of a woman who took her man for every penny he had. A great storyline which I am sure that many men can relate to who have themselves been ripped off by a woman. (Yes, it can and does work both ways!) Great guitar by Robi Bevan, done in the style of Dire Straits. Great percussion by Tim Bragg, and some well-suited keyboard work by Ross Hemsworth.
4. STEP AWAY. (Bragg).
Tim Bragg’s voice sounds great on this track which is perfectly backed up by the wonderful background vocals of Freya Wolf. Powerful lead guitar by Tim Bragg on the middle 8 part. This song is all about feeling hopeless, but the light at the end of the tunnel, is the fact that one is only that one step away from joy.
5. TALL STORIES ON SHORT STREET. (Hemsworth)
My favourite track on the whole album. Wonderful guitar (John Goodland) and great flowing piano playing (Michael Marshall) together with a lovely sounding acoustic guitar by Ross Hemsworth, which tells the story of a Vietnam Vet who finds himself living on the streets telling his stories to anyone who is prepared to listen. Tim Bragg’s voice strikes home with this important true tale of one of those Vietnam Veterans who fell on hard times. Superb harmonica playing by Sean McBride also peppers this track, but were all these Veterans' stories true? Great song. I hope this song is their next single, it sure deserves it.
6. SOUL ON FIRE. (Bragg)
More of a funky calypso feel on this one where Tim Bragg again takes up the lead vocal telling the story of a man who has found ‘the one’. Solid female backing vocals by Freya Wolf, good rhythm section with some interesting guitar riffs.
7. THE DISAPPEARING KIND. (Bragg/Hemsworth)
In this song Tim Bragg tells the story of a man who thinks he knows it all and has an opinion on everything. Great keyboards, and some incredible lead guitar ny Uli Hanig, accompanied with some solid background drumming by Tim Bragg.
8. LONELINESS ROAD. (Hemsworth)
Lead singer Tim Bragg tells the story of a love lost, and a man still hurting after losing the love of his life to another man. (Yes, we have all been there!) This time we are introduced to the wonderful sound of the saxophone played by Tim Bragg. Great chord change after the middle 8.
9. ROCK CITY NIGHTS. (Hemsworth).
Here we have two great vocalists, Tim Bragg and the lovely Freya Wolf telling the story of two people enjoying those rock city nights. A lovely country feel song filled to the brim with the backdrop of some fine musicians including Mike Knight.
10. TEMPTATION ROAD. (Hemsworth)
This song tells the story of a man infatuated by his lover, and how she leads him down temptation road with all that it has to offer! Wonderful lead guitar by Tim Bragg throughout this track which gives it an airy feel.
11. SIDE BY SIDE. (Hemsworth)
A very upbeat song with some wonderful saxophone playing by Sean McBride. A real feel good song which gets your feet tapping. Lead guitar is by Ross Hemsworth and does the drums and percussion. This is their first single from the album.
12. NEW WORLD (HAS BEGUN). (Bragg)
The final track on the album which talks above love and hope, which features for me the best lead guitar solo on the album (Uli Hanig). Michael Marshall and Ross Hemsworth do a great job filling out on the keyboard. My second favourite song on the whole album, and for me, (without a shadow of a doubt) should be another single for the band.
So quite an array of different tracks, each with their own style, from country, to your classic pop, to the calypso sound of ‘Soul on Fire’. Both Tim Bragg and Ross Hemsworth are gifted musicians, each of whom play an array of instruments on this album, indeed, Tim Bragg plays the drums on all of the tracks. Both artists also share the guitar and keyboards on various tracks, and there is no denying their love for their music and their commitment to the songs they play on.
Prior to playing in a band, Ross Hemsworth had been a tour truck driver for the likes of Barry Manilow, Beyonce, Bryan Adams, and Paul McCartney, and is a voting member of the U.S. Songwriters Hall of Fame. Not only that, he has co-written a song with 70’s star, Suzi Quatro, so musically he has had a good grounding. Meeting up and recording with musician Tim Bragg, has proved beneficial to both parties and the culmination of that partnership, has produced one heck of a fine album. It’s plain to see, that a partnership such as this will prove fruitful and based on this, their first album,
I can see a long and pleasant road ahead with success on every corner. The album cover was done by Stephen Dray, and you can download or stream the album by clicking HERE or via Spotify..
So, check them out. There is a lot to enjoy on Tall Stories on Short Street. These guys are going places enjoy the ride.
Review by Malcolm Robinson.
Malcolm Robinson is a successful author, researcher and TV pundit and himself a musician…..
UFO Case Files of Scotland (Volume 1) Amazing Real Life Alien Encounters. (ISBN-10 1907 712 6023)
UFO Case Files of Scotland (Volume 2) The Sightings. (ISBN-10 1907 126120)
The Monsters of Loch Ness (The History and the Mystery) (ISBN: 978-1-326-72942-4)
Paranormal Case Files of Great Britain (Volume 1) (ISBN-10 1907 126066)
Paranormal Case Files of Great Britain (Volume 2) (ISBN: 978-1326-874-223
Paranormal Case Files of Great Britain (Volume 3) ISBN: 978-0244-11171-4 The Dechmont Woods UFO Incident. (An ordinary day, an extraordinary event) ISBN: 978-0-244-15911-5
OUT NOW. Malcolm's new book, The Sauchie Poltergeist (And other Scottish ghostly tales) ISBN: 979-865-0294-658
All the above books are available from
Malcolm Robinson is the assistant editor of Outer Limits Magazine.
Malcolm Robinson was the first Scottish person to lecture on UFOs in the following countries.
The United States of America. (Laughlin Nevada)
Ireland: (Carrick on Shannon & Galway)
Malcolm is one of only a handful of people on this planet to have gone down into the murky depths of Loch Ness in a submarine.
Malcolm Robinson is also available as a guest speaker for your club and society.
Malcolm is the Founder of Strange Phenomena Investigations (1979)
Check out Malcolm Robinson's Facebook Page for updates on SPI and more. www.facebook.com/malcolm.robinson2