Ashley Sherlock, Just A Name Review
Ashley Sherlock’s debut album, Just A Name, was released by Ruf Records on June 16, 2023. Emerging from Manchester—a city renowned for its influential bands—Sherlock carries the weight of musical history on his shoulders. Far from being constrained by tradition, he propels blues-rock into the contemporary scene. Backed by a rhythm section featuring Charlie Rachael Kay on bass and Danny Rigg on drums, Sherlock’s sound is a textured swirl of blues, hard rock, pop, and soul.
In “I Think That She Knows,” Sherlock establishes himself as a sound craftsman. Opening with a clean guitar tone that supports a descending bass melody, the track offers a hook-laden bassline in the verse. Sherlock’s vocals are emotive and precise, gaining an edgy rasp as he moves to his upper register during the chorus. Sherlock’s guitar solo is a lesson in tonal shifts—it evolves from clean to distorted, incorporating tasteful wah-wah effects. Kay and Rigg are far from mere accompanists; their foundational groove is integral to the song.
“Realise” shows the powerhouse sound and textures this trio can achieve. Sherlock’s guitar tone rings with the quintessence of British sound, while the rhythm section lends a tinge of Southern rock to the mix. Although it’s set to a 6/8 pulse, anchoring it in blues territory, the song liberally borrows from other genres. Sherlock’s vocals are a melodic ride through blue notes, slurs, and bends—invoking the spirits of bluesmen past, but firmly rooted in the here and now. The chorus is hauntingly memorable.
“Dear Elizabeth” nods to Led Zeppelin right from the ethereal intro; this track takes the band into territory where blues and rock meld seamlessly. Sherlock employs 7th chords in some parts, a staple in the blues vocabulary, while the dynamic shifts between verses and choruses are sculpted and captivating. The bridge sets up a solo where Sherlock’s guitar tone shifts to a warm distortion. His playing is marked by emotional bends and a rhythmic motif that builds up to a crescendo, showcasing a guitarist who knows when to hold back and when to let loose.
Sherlock’s Just A Name is a powerful amalgamation of blues-rock infused with elements of classic blues, hard rock, and soul. His approach may be rooted in blues-rock, yet it bears the hallmarks of old masters through its rhythmic complexities, soulful vocals, and expressive guitar work. This debut situates itself perfectly within the evolving modern blues landscape, respecting its roots while forging new paths. Keep your eyes on Sherlock; he’s on a trajectory to significant places in the music industry.
Connect with Ashley Sherlock: Website |
Just A Name
June 16, 2023