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Saturday, 18th November 2017
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Ron Pope - Work

Ron Pope WorkAs the horns cut in on Bad For Your Health the opening track of Ron Popes new album, your reviewer is preparing himself for a little trip off genre.  This is pop rock, not folk. If you want to categorize then think of a cross between Tom Petty and Bob Seger Distinctive, but not too off the wall vocals, a rhythm section that gets your feet moving and melodies that lodge themselves in the space between your ears.

Yet the title track, stripped down to acoustic guitar and voice. is as folk as it gets.  Who can argue with the line I wanted to work to live, no not just live to work.  There may be an ocean and fourteen hours of driving between the Lancashire mills of old and Nashville based Pope, but the sentiments are just the same.

By now were half way into the album with Last that describes the process of losing a much desired woman. You may find yourself pressing the back button on the cd player when its finished, so you can listen again -  Its that kind of song. With slightly different instrumentation, stick an accordion in there for example, and youd have something worthy of a folk club singalong, all of which demonstrates the folly of sticking labels. The same could apply to Someday Were All Going To Die a whimsical waltz whose subject matter is aptly described in the title.

The sentiments expressed in the title track originated with Pope being told by a high school teacher that hed most likely end up in prison.  Dancing Days (My Dancing Days, they aint done yet) looks at life from the other end with the declaration that it aint quite over. There is Brit influence here, the song being reminiscent of Ooh La La from the Faces.

Over the years Ron Pope has established himself as a bit of a hero to independent musicians, being a self-releasing artist with a combined 1 Billion Streams for his music across Spotify and YouTube, single sales of over 2 million, and an audience of over 1 million individual monthly listeners on Spotify. On the evidence of this release, that isnt surprising.  You might have to look in more than one section of the record store, before you find his stuff, but the search will be worth it.

- Les Pilling

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Ron Pope





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