Album: Roy Rieck and the Medley Band – Never Trust the Holy Gracious Medley Band

Roy Rieck became a blues/folk singer in the most perfect way.  Whilst serving in the military he picked up a harmonica and gave it a little play. Through this he discovered a love for this kind of music and set off for Mississippi in search of his formal folk education. After this Roy headed back to his homeland of Israel and met up with some childhood friends in similar musical boats. These friends became the Medley band and together they made beautiful music for the world to fall for. Their first EP, The Pinpoint Room, gained them air time on some of Israel’s biggest radio stations. So this, their debut album, is their first full length outreach to the global folk world. All of this and they have no PR, no business plans and no record label.  What was the result? A fantastic bluesy, jazz-inspired piece of work.

The first track, ‘Egocentric Lostaholic’, really sets the tone for the album with winding melodies, complex instrumentals and the capability to go places. These songs don’t stay in one place with simple verse, bridge, chorus formations- they run off on tangents and don’t finish until they come to a musical conclusion.

Not every song is this complex and thought-heavy however.  The second song, ‘06:05 AM’, really picks up the pace and sounds as if it is being poured out of the nearest jazz bar. ‘Dream Beans’ gives us an awesome guitar riff reminding the world of the electric guitar’s rightful place. Other songs show us the power desperation can have on the voice and music – ‘Pick up the phone’ is covered in it and goes off into a manic instrumental, easing out with acceptance. The lyrics too prove this band’s dedication to the blues ethos.  In ‘Next Incline’ we hear Roy sing uncomfortably “Here comes the pain…” Misery can sound so beautiful when sung properly!

The standout track for me on this album has to be ‘Modern Caves’ which blends everything together perfectly- moody and brilliant. For a debut album this is a winner and I’m sure London radio stations will soon catch onto what Israel already saw in this band. Roy and chums will be playing some live dates in London in October, so keep your ears to the

Words: Kat Nicholls