Review: Ned Roberts OUTSIDE MY MIND

Ned Roberts
Aveline Records
4.5 stars
A hopeless romantic but Ned Roberts is one to watch
With his 2014 self-titled debut album receiving significant exposure on BBC radio, newcomer to the British folk scene, London based Ned Roberts is sure to reach an even wider audience with OUTSIDE MY MIND. Recorded in Electrosound Studios, Los Angeles under the expert direction of experienced producer Luther Russell, the ten self-penned numbers explore all aspects of relationships from the hopeful to the devastated or just chasing dreams. Compared to the likes of Tim Hardin, Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake, I felt he sounded remarkably like James Taylor and the songs could easily be mistaken for some of the Simon & Garfunkel classics. Playing guitar and harmonica, Roberts would have little difficulty replicating the music in a live setting although things are embellished nicely on the album by Eli Pearl (pedal steel) and Jason Hillier (bass) whilst producer Luther Russell contributes drums, electric guitar and piano, also sharing backing vocal duties with Sarabeth Tucek. The songs are all expertly crafted and delivered beautifully; simple easy listening ballads, with the artist only occasionally upping the tempo slightly on the likes of Angel Station, with its ‘desperately waiting for a date in the rain’ theme; don’t worry, she turns up eventually! I really liked this album which grew on me more and more with repeated plays. Highly recommended. John Roffey

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