Album Reviews

Elles Bailey

Wildfire

Artist:     Elles Bailey

Album:     Wildfire

Label:     Self Released

Release Date:     09.01.2017

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Elles Bailey is a young UK blues singer-songwriter with more than a spark of promise. Last year, she turned out a powerful, well-produced EP to whet the appetite, a release that, for me personally, was probably the finest EP offering of the year. With ‘Wildfire’ she now delivers a debut album featuring a dozen tracks that are brim-full of fiery blues and confidence.

The pace and pitch is delightfully varied while the smoky-vocals are clear, clean and confidently self-assured, shades of the late Dusty Springfield at times, with hints of many of the old female blues greats swilling around in the background. Recorded in Music City USA, Nashville, and featuring some of the city’s finest sidemen, the keys and guitar work are driving, forceful, pounding along at times while at others pulling back off the gas and sliding along with zinging, ringing taste and control.

In many ways this album is a genuine triumph. It’s one thing to turn out a limited six-track EP but quite another to follow through soon afterwards with a fully formed, 12-track album. Bailey on this wonderful offering has pulled the trick off with absolute ease and assurance. This is an album that both promises much and delivers. In addition, it is a promising release that hints at yet more to come in the future pipeline. This is an album that crosses the acoustic-slide/electric blues divide comfortably and confidently. Get out and grab a copy of ‘Wildfire,’ you certainly won’t be disappointed. Ellis Bailey is a rising star to keep an eye on, for sure.

—Iain Patience

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  1. Liking Iain Patience’s review of Elles Bailey Wildfire album very much thanks, but would just like to expand on a very small but critical omission: For “…Recorded in Music City USA, Nashville, and featuring some of the city’s finest sidemen, the keys and guitar work are driving, forceful, pounding…” the lead guitar work is actually by Bristol UK’s very own Joe Wilkins ( http://www.joewilkinsmusic.com ) and flown into Nashville especially. He’s my best mate’s son, so take that as read please. Cheers.