RHR is new musical collaboration consisting of three master guitar players; Troy Redfern, Jack J Hutchinson, and Mike Ross, hence the abbreviated title. The trio have combined not only their immense fretboard skills, but also their songwriting talents to produce their debut record ‘Mahogany Drift’.
A rich vein of musical DNA runs through the record that the three guitarists cleverly weave to create a tapestry of sound that also pays homage to their preferred music styles and guitar band heroes. From the outset, ‘She Painted The Moon’ captures and creates a psychedelic vibe that sounds something like a crossover between Lenny Kravitz and Mott the Hoople, while ‘Rapture’ and ‘Miles Away’ are great examples of good old fashion classic rock songs with uplifting harmonies and some devilish guitar licks and hooks. All three songs give the listener the sense that this record was a fun one to make.
The record title is split into two instrumentals ‘Mahogany’ and ‘Drift’. Both are clever blues, jazz-influenced tracks that show a reverence for, and influence by the Bob Brunning era Fleetwood Mac. Also, one of the very pleasant surprises about this record is that while there is ample amount of guitar solos there are also several instances of great licks being played at the bottom end of the fretboard that makes a refreshing break from the norm for this type of band.
With production duties handled by the band and AI Scott they have clearly gone for a full-on analogue sound replicating the classic rock era of the 1970s. In fact, while listening to the record it’s easy to imagine the band appearing on an episode of the legendary BBC TV series The Old Grey Whistle Test such is the authenticity of the sound that they have created.
‘Judgment Day’ and ‘Leviathan’ transport the listener into delta blues territory with their religious overtones and bottleneck acoustic guitars interspersed with frantic riffs and vivid lyrics. The band goes into full Southern Rock territory with the Allman Brothers/Lynyrd Skynyrd influenced ‘Ghost Hound Rider’, ‘Solemn Song’ and ‘Holler’ proving that as much as the boys want to rock out they also know how to and aren’t afraid to write credible melodic radio-friendly tunes. All three of the aforementioned songs just glow with the sound of summer.
It’s easy to imagine that when three talented musicians get together the way RHR have done that egos would take to the fore, but if anything the opposite appears to be the case here. Each guitarist gets room to showcase their talents, be it vocally or with searing rock solos, soulful blues or emotive slide all get to shine and when they do they do it brightly.
This record packages up a classic sound with love and reverence, then re-imagines with it by combing creative musicianship and songwriting to deliver a record with an uncompromising tone that should be in the collection of music lovers everywhere.
‘Mahogany Drift’ is released on 2nd November 2018 on Proper Records.