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JOHN STAMP —FRANKLIN54 (Self-Released)



Derbyshire, England and Nashville, Tennessee are primary influences of this recording from the English singer-songwriter, and no small matter of fate. For Stamp, until he found himself recipient of sharing some time writing and performing the occasional gig with esteemed singer-songwriter, Boo Hewerdine in 2012 in Idridgehay, Derbyshire he hadn’t played or written professionally for 18 years. Due to him forging a professionally career as a residential childcare specialist. 

Fate and the fact he had something to say after his sabbatical guide the album, and with pop plus smidges of rock and country and folk figuring in his music the floodgates open. The songs flowed from Stamp’s pen, and with hints of the 1980s (“Knocking” with its Police-esque guitar sounds) prominent in the rhythm of some tracks, Stamp’s music possess a warm and joyful feel. As you have the likes of “Blowing Me Kisses” (written with his Derbyshire friend, John Hartley); a duet with Texas-born Leigh Nash of the band, Sixpence Non The Richer lend the feeling the music is good enough to travel far.    

While with love in the air he travels through parts of America on “The Weather”, here he speaks of how despite the climate, true love can not only survive but also flourish. It’s opening features superb twangy guitar that wouldn’t be out of place on a Byrds’ song; then you have some tasty slide guitar prowl on the beautiful “Do You Dream?” and with it layered with stellar harmony vocals it hits the spot. 

One of the Franklin, Tennessee recorded album’s greatest strengths apart from the mighty work of Nashville sessionmen Will Kimbrough (guitars), Chris Donohue, Matt Pierson (bass), Dennis Holt (drums), Andy Sheridan (keyboards) you have a finely woven fabric of songs that hold firm, as it streams effortlessly, and is more about moods than any given genre. Songs of note, other than those already listed he strikes gold when he teams up with Nash on the simple ode “California”. More demanding and forceful you have bustling ode “Stay Calm”, and the dreamy “Moon And Stars” as he reflects on a relationship where he feels should have done more. 

      Maurice Hope   

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