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CD REVIEW: BRIAN CADD & The Bootleg Family Band – Bulletproof

| 30 December 2016 | Reply

CD REVIEW: BRIAN CADD & The Bootleg Family Band – Bulletproof
November 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar


It’s been a storied fifty-year career for one-time Perth boy and Aussie pop and rock Renaissance man Brian Cadd – as a member of The Groop, Axiom and The Flying Burrito Brothers, a long-time solo artist with many hits to his name, and an ARIA Hall Of Fame and Australian Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame inductee, he’s been round the block a few times.

Bulletproof is his tenth solo album – his first since 2005 if you disregard Wild Bulls and Horses, his 2011 country collaboration with great friend Russell Morris – and he’s built a new version of his classic ‘70s backing group, The Bootleg Family Band, to do it.

Featuring Tony Naylor, Gus Fenwick and Geoff Cox from the original Bootleg Family Band, Cadd has brought in Dai Pritchard, Rick Fenn and Richard Naylor on guitars, drummer Mick Skelton, bassist Greg Lyon, Mike Rudd on harmonica and Wilbur Wilde contributing some tasty saxophone, and the result is simply sensational, and may be his best album yet.

Like old mate Morris’s latter-day reinvention as an Aussie bluesman, Cadd has foregone the piano-led pop ballads which gave him his greatest early successes (Ginger Man, Let Go, Alvin Purple, Little Ray Of Sunshine) for a very ‘70s-feeling rock n’ boogie band vibe.

The song-writing is key here – these are stories about love and life well-crafted, choruses irresistible, musicianship impeccable and an electric ‘live’ feel throughout that tells us in no uncertain terms – these songs are gonna sound bloody great live!

Love plays a strong part in the songs here – Bulletproof and I Still Can’t Believe It’s True are heartfelt, musical roses to the power of love, while Yesterday’s Dreams salutes our back pages, and The One That Got Away is a wistful rememberance of love lost, though not necessarily for the worst.

Slow Walk is dedicated to Daddy Cool guitarist Ross Hannaford, who was seriously ill during the recording and passed away shortly after, and features a very ‘Hannaford’ guitar riff in tribute. Long Time ‘Til The First Time is as rock n’ roll as anything Ian Hunter ever wrote – a road tale of the hours and years put in before music success comes round (if it ever does).

A prolific songwriter, Cadd reclaims some of the songs he wrote for others here – I Still Can’t Believe It’s True was originally performed by Joe Cocker, Love Is Like A Rolling Stone by The Pointer Sisters, Yesterday’s Dreams by Bonnie Tyler.

There seems to be a sense of reflection in the lyrics, of battles fought and won and lost and those which never have anyone come out on top. Cadd sounds like in writing his autobiography a fistful of years ago, he realised just how great all the good in his life is, and the energising effect of that lightning strike epiphany has brought him right back to rock n’ roll with glorious effect.

Category: CD Reviews

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