The Gardening Club – “The Riddle” (Gonzo, 2018)
Progressive rock band The Gardening Club recorded its new album at producer and guitarist Norm Macpherson’s Garry Oak Studios in Metchosin, British Columbia in Canada. This place, encircled by woods and near the Pacific Ocean, was a great place for composing and recording the new record.
Most of the music on The Riddle is by guitarist and vocalist Martin Springett. He delivers a wonderful set of slide guitar performances that add an enchanting bluesy feel to the band’s particular style of folk-influenced progressive rock. The vocals sometimes recall the Strawbs and Echolyn as well.
Guitar play an essential role in this album featuring the slide guitar as well as exquisite acoustic and electric guitar interplay between Martin and Norm Macpherson.
Although we associate heavy use of keyboards with progressive rock, the keyboards here appear in the form of a handful of delightful synth solos.
“The Riddle” also features a few saxophone solos. The smooth jazz saxophone is too sappy and breaks the magic of the album. Having two great guitarists is more than plenty and much more satisfying.
The lineup includes Martin Springett on vocals and guitars; Sean Drabitt on fretless electric bass; Norm Macpherson on guitars; Norm’s son, James Macpherson on drums and keyboards; and Wayne Kozak on saxophone.
Martin Springett is also well-known as an illustrator. He created the beautiful artwork for the CD version of the album.
Buy “The Riddle” in North America
Buy “The Riddle” in Europe