Audiophile: Digital, July 2022

hfnalbum.pngOtis Taylor
Hey Joe Opus – Red Meat
Octave Records OCT0003 (SACD hybrid)

Amidst this month's trio of audiophile-oriented discs comes one with content of more universal appeal, as Taylor's milieu is the blues. This set is based around two different takes of that oft-covered classic, 'Hey Joe', Taylor's versions owing absolutely nothing to the frenetic Leaves or Byrds interpretations nor Jimi Hendrix's. This album is so laid back that it sounds like the se ssion was unplugged, thanks to discrete use of amplified instruments, while the overall airiness is such that you'll probably add this disc to your 'travelling demo pile'. Note for enthusiasts: the SACD layer's contents come from, and I quote, 'a vinyl needle drop to DSD from the 45rpm DMM release from In-Akustik GmbH'. Talk about balls-y! KK


Garth Hudson
Presents A Canadian Celebration of The Band
Curve Music CURV21

A Band devotee, I'm ashamed I knew nothing about this hommage when it came out in 2010, so I welcome this 10th anniversary edition, with two bonus tracks. If you thought The Last Waltz was the ultimate rock concert film, you'll love keyboardist Hudson's hand-picked song selection, eschewing all but a handful of the hits, so the feel is that of a sequel to the legendary farewell gig. This time, his guests players are Canadian, reflecting 4/5ths of The Band's lineup, with Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Cowboy Junkies, and others from north of the border. There's a clear reverence here, so it's one for the fans, but wait until you hear 'Chest Fever'. KK


The Waterboys
The Magnificent Seven
Chrysalis CHENC16 (five CDs + DVD)

Whew! A six-disc box set containing every scrap of music recorded during a 15-month period seems self-indulgent, even compared to expansions of classic albums, but this set, subtitled 'The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues/Room To Roam band, 1989-90', will charm devotees who want to savour every moment of a fecund period when the group was expanded by three musicians. The saga is captured chronologically according to the seasons, with CD5 containing Room To Roam. Scottish/Irish roots music via studio and home recordings and live tracks culled from a vast global tour, it's heavy on the fiddle, and it helps if you're drunk. Also issued with a deluxe hardback book. KK


Aleksey Revenko
Colors Of The Universe
STS 61111109 CD

Sometimes, I wanna grab the crew at STS and scream at them: don't they realise that the audience for CDs which sound this good are audiophiles who want at least some basic technical info? This magnificently recorded set of original-composition guitar instrumentals – a moody 'neo-classical' affair with hints of the medieval, as well as whiffs of jazz, pop, and pure folk – has a bunch of sponsors' names on the back, including AudioQuest and Thorens, but that won't sate your curiosity. I mean: What's the 'MW Coding Process'? Why isn't this an SACD or Blu-Ray Audio disc? Whatever… Amusingly, it's also on open-reel tape if you have a few hundred quid to spare. KK