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Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre - On The Road To Freedom (1973)

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Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre - On The Road To Freedom (1973)

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01. On The Road To Freedom (Alvin Lee) – 4:13
02. The World Is Changing (I Got A Woman Back In Georgia) (Alvin Lee/Mylon LeFevre) – 2:45
03. So Sad (No Love Of His Own) (George Harrison) – 4:34
04. Fallen Angel (Alvin Lee) – 3:20								play
05. Funny (Alvin Lee) – 2:48
06. We Will Shine (Mylon LeFevre) – 2:37
07. Carry My Load (Alvin Lee) – 2:58
08. Lay Me Back (Mylon LeFevre) – 2:53
09. Let 'Em Say What They Will (Ron Wood) – 2:52
10. I Can't Take It (Mylon LeFevre) – 2:51							play
11. Riffin (Alvin Lee/Mylon LeFevre) – 3:31
12. Rockin' Til The Sun Goes Down (Alvin Lee/Mylon LeFevre) – 3:08
Bonus:
13. So Sad (No Love Of His Own) (single A-side,1974) (George Harrison) – 3:00

Personnel:
- Alvin Lee - guitars (01-06,08-12), bass (01,02,04,05,08,10), drums (05),
sitar (08), lead vocals (01,02,07,12), producer - Mylon LeFevre - percussion (01,04,09), acoustic rhythm (02,08,10),
12-string guitar (06,07), bass (07), lead vocals (02-12) + - Steve Winwood - piano (01,04,06,10) - Jim Capaldi - drums (01,02,04), percussion (04) - Rebop Kwaku Baah - congas (01) - Mike Patto - backing vocals (02,12), percussion (12) - Tim Hinkley - organ (02,11), piano (07,08,09,12), backing vocals (12) - George Harrison (aka Hari Georgeson) - guitar (03), slide guitar (03),
bass (03), backing vocals (03) - Ron Wood - 12-string guitar (03), slide guitar (04), bass (06,09), guitars (09), drums (09) - Mick Fleetwood - drums (03) - Andy Stein - fiddle (05) - Ian Wallace - drums (07,08,10-12) - Bob Black - steel guitar (08) - Boz Burrell - bass (11,12), backing vocals (12)

 

This side project of Alvin Lee (departing from Ten Years After's no-holds-barred style) contains some of his best work. Those who are only familiar with such monster albums as 'Cricklewood Green' and 'A Space in Time' may find this work puzzling. Hooking up with American gospel singer Mylon Le Fevre, Lee served up helpings of more textured, sophisticated music than TYA. Even overt rockers like 'Riffin' and 'Fallen Angel' exhibit a more "roots-rock" sound than such songs as '50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain'. Using the talents of many big names (including George Harrison and several 'Traffic' members), the result is more varied and intricate than previous works. Even his blistering guitar work shows more finesse than usual with TYA's releases. The songs here range from the interesting-but-mediocre ('Lay Me Back' and 'Carry My Load') to the truly superlative (the title tune, 'The World is Changing' and the country-fried 'Funny'). In my opinion, one of Alvin Lee's best songs (maybe his very best) is the titular 'On the Road to Freedon'; with Mylon Le Fevre providing only backing vocals on this track, it effectively is Alvin Lee and Traffic (Steve Winwood on piano, Jim Capaldi on drums and Rebob on congas). Boy, is it one great song. Searing guitar, solid drumming, tasteful piano, a rousing melody and Lee's vocals never sounding better. It's nice to have this release available after so long. ---Dennis Hawley, amazon.com

 

Mick plays solid drums on the balladish acoustic strummer "So sad (No love of his own)" which really grows on you with a few listens. Mylon LeFevre sings lead on this one and I think this is one of Mick's most overlooked guest appearances, made at an interesting time in his career. This album may be worth it to some for this track alone though there are a few other good high points here (like the opening catchy galloping acoustic building title track for instance). "The world is changing (I got a woman back in Georgia)" is a peppy chanter, "Fallen angel" is a mid to up tempo fuzzy rocker, "Funny" is homespun bounce with fiddles and acoustics giving this track a slight square dance feel. "We will shine" is a thin sounding but likable acoustic strummer, "Carry my load" is an admittedly dated track but it's electric piano part helps it out. "Lay me back" is a jangly steel guitar yawner but has some nice J.J. Cale style wah wah guitar licks. "Let 'em say what they will" is an energy filled lean and ragged rocker, "I can't take it" is a strong acoustic track which is one of the album's best songs. "Riffin" is a grumbly rocker that is like "Fallen angel" but faster and "Rockin' til the sun goes down" is a fitting fast stomping closer. Fans of early Ten Years After may find this a little reserved but taken for what it is, its' not bad as a whole. For me personally, I like what I've said are the highlights here but unfortunately it's not enough to push it over the hump for me. If I could give it 3 and a half stars I would have. --- John Fitzgerald, discog.fleetwoodmac.net

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