Ben Reel: 7th | Album Review
Singer / Songwriter
Calling your new album by its numerical sequence seems to signify either a pompous regard for its importance or, perhaps, a paucity of inspiration.
Or maybe for Ben Reel it represents relief that, all those years after his debut in 1999, he can still deliver a great tune.
Certainly the South Armagh man shows no sign of flagging on this self-produced 14-track set – and that goes for his impressive band as well.
He sits happily in that more rockist Americana space, similar to, say, Rodney Crowell. Reel’s 2013 Darkness and the Light album was strong, but this is better balanced and more consistent.
The songs are good (if lyrically a tad cliched), with blues and gospel mixed in with country, and there are none better than the rolling gait of Gimme Some Room, the Jimmy Rodgers- styled Reflection of the Blues or the bright-eyed glint of One of These Days.