Bernard Fowler review…April 20, 2019…

BERNARD FOWLER

INSIDE OUT

RHYME AND REASON RECORDS

TIE YOU UP–DANCING WITH MR. D–UNDERCOVER OF THE NIGHT–TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE–SISTER MORPHINE–ALL THE WAY DOWN–MUST BE HELL–SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL–DANCING WITH MR. D (BONUS TRACK W/O GUITAR)

Many fans may recognize Bernard Fowler as being a collaborator and backing vocalist for the Rolling Stones.  His latest album, for Rhyme And Reason Records is called “Inside Out,” and that is sho’ nuff what it is.  Bernard has taken some of the more obscure Stones cuts and mixed them with some of the legendary ones and, basically, turned them inside-out., reworking and re-imagining them into spoken-word gems along the lines of the Last Poets, and, one of our favorites, Gil Scott-Heron.

It was during a soundcheck where Bernard was noodling around on his congas on “Sympathy For The Devil,” and Mick himself urged Bernard to make this record.  Moving forward, he enlisted some mighty backing players, including Ray Parker, Jr., Steve Jordan, Darryl Jones, and several others, for some memorable versions of these songs.

Bernard is no stranger to the spoken-word community, singing with the dub-electronic group Tackhead, as well as the avant-garde New York Citi Peech Boys.  As such, his deconstruction and subsequent resurrection of these classics is indeed inspiring.

Leading off is a BDSM-lover’s dream, as our hero begs for the bondage, but simultaneously begs his Mistress for tender mercy in a percussion-heavy, frenzied read of “Tie You Up,” from the “Undercover Of The Night” album.  The tick-tocking clock intro and outro sets the tone for the fierce, pounding, spoken-word romp thru “Time Waits For No One, and it won’t wait for me!”  When you need some funky guitar on a cut like this, who ya gon’ call?  Why, Ray Parker, Jr., of course!  He sticks around for more tasty work on the Curtis Mayfield vibe of “Sister Morphine,” with trumpet from Keyon Harrold, who re-creates the Miles Davis trumpet styles he played on the “Miles Ahead” biopic.

Our favorite was, IMHO, the set’s centerpiece.  Everybody knows it from that “Please allow me to introduce myself” beginning, and the “history lesson” that accompanies “Sympathy For The Devil!”  Mike Garson is on that well-timed piano throughout, too.

Take it from an old dude who’s been a Stones fan since my family celebrated my aunt’s birthday in front of the TV on October 25, 1964, coinciding with their appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” and listen to Bernard Fowler and “Inside Out” with an open mind.  You just might find yourself pleasantly surprised!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: