Shankara Andy Bole, Red Crow. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

Go forth into the world with utter abandon and spontaneity; relish the prospect of finding love in the most unlikely of places, freedom in the impulsive and sometimes allow yourself to be surrounded by madcap and chaotic; for order and structure are the devils in which many drown in, the spontaneity spark put out and left to be a ghost of the possibility.

It is rare to find the feeling of recorded spontaneity in music, you find the odd chuckle of impetuousness on stage when filling in for the change in tempo or because the vocalist wants to chat above the noise and offhand in the crowd but hardly ever is it framed with the same succinct feeling of passion placed down on paper by the free thinkers such as Jack Kerouac; spontaneity and stream of consciousness hand in hand and composed with terrific, haunting, off the wall persuasive cool. Â

It is a groove to which Shankara Andy Bole offers to the listener in his seven track album, Red Crow, with humble fanfare and a tremendous efficient pulse. The tracks don’t just capture the moment, any moment; they find themselves at the mercy of the instrument used, the bouzouki, and the subtle surrender of love that comes with it.

An instrument to which perhaps not enough praise is exercised by the majority of people more enamoured with the guitar or the sound of battle displayed in a set of drums, but to find the bouzouki being modestly manipulated in such a way is to find a beguiling sense of peace and spirit that might have otherwise found itself more at home in what was once called euphemistically the mystic east.

Too many crows huddled together can be murder, yet as Shankara Andy Bole tantalises the use of the colours of the rainbow to describe each crow he releases into the world, a murder of crows becomes a saviour of thought and in each painted picture of the ill thought bird, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, a redemption for the blackness envelopes, the listener finding a way to shine a light on each one and with a smile of the spontaneous from Shankara Andy Bole.

A remarkable album, a musical highlight in the year, natural, free flowing and refreshing, Red Crow is a genuine find.

Ian D. Hall