The Motives feat. Matt Taylor
Debut Album Track Details
1. Never Tell a Lie (Taylor)
The album’s barnstorming opening number sets the tone for the whole album with a potent mix of Chicago blues, big band swing and good old fashioned rock’n’roll. A powerful ascending guitar riff, supported by a screaming Hammond organ leads into a laid back shuffle and a wry lyric, only to rebuild the intensity through the bridge and chorus. Never Tell a Lie is a thoroughly modern blues song which breaks with tradition without straying too far from the path and immediately showcases Taylor’s guitar virtuosity, building to a crescendo with the aid of Jonny Dyke’s inspired Hammond and a well-oiled wha-wha pedal.
2. Cookie Jar (Taylor)
Cookie Jar blends British R’n’B of the ‘60’s with Strong Persuader era Robert Cray, a Hammond organ hook leading into a tale of suspicion, infidelity and ultimately murder. Drummer Roy Martin drives this number from the outset with an urgent and subtly funky backbeat, locked in with bassist Andy Graham, while Matt Taylor delivers a big story in few words and a short sharp shock of a guitar solo.
3. Leap of Faith (Taylor)
Inspired in equal parts by Chicago and Texas blues, Muddy Waters is strongly represented, as is Freddie King in both Matt’s fiery guitar soloing and the time signature changes reminiscent of King’s Woman Across the River. Its lyric deals with betrayal of trust and it features some great ensemble playing and with the exception of the lead vocal and a 2nd guitar overdub, is all recorded live in the studio, as is the vast majority of the album.
4. Find Another Love (Butcher/Taylor)
With its mellow ‘60’s lounge jazz intro yeilding to an explosion of guitar and keyboard riffs and settling into a classic walking bass line shuffle, Taylor enlisted the help of his friend, former England cricketer turned blues & soul singer/songwriter/guitarist Mark Butcher to write the top line and lyric. Butcher’s tale of a doomed love affair perfectly compliments Taylor’s dynamic track, with Jonny Dyke’s contrasting Hammond and Rhodes keyboards and a swinging rhythm section providing the bedrock for Taylor’s soulful vocals and stinging guitar. It’s the Hammond organ that wins out though, with an inspired two-part solo from Jonny Dyke, at first melodic and understated then fiery and aggressive, playing into the fade out.
5. The Rules Don’t Apply (Taylor)
Inspired by such luminaries as Louis Prima, Benny Goodman, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and even Woody Allen, The Rules Don’t Apply is a blackly comic fable of a man whose evil doings in life lead to an exalted position in the after-life, only to find that his supposed status has actually lead him into his own worst nightmare. With Gene Krupa style tom-toms relentlessly pounding and unison guitar and Hammond organ bringing to mind the blaring trumpets of Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing, The Rules Don’t Apply is an unpredictable gem, made all the more dazzling by a guest appearance from the charismatic Ian Siegal, who expertly voices the devil himself.
6. Looking For The Way Home (Taylor)
The only track on the album to lean towards a more rural blues sound, Looking For The Way Home is part Bo Diddley groove, part Little Feat country-funk, with a thoughtful Paul Simon-esque lyric lamenting the trials and tribulations of modern life. It is the only track on the album to feature slide guitar, however it is Jonny Dyke’s piano that steals the show with some great syncopated licks throughout and a dazzling outro solo.
7. Gone Before (Taylor)
The album’s second half is marked with a brooding, minor blues – a song which didn’t exist before the band took to the studio – and a real tour de force. With less than an hour left to play with on the last day of principal recording the guys jammed the backing track chord changes and let the tape roll. What you hear is the first time the song had ever been played from beginning to end in one improvised take. Matt subsequently wrote and recorded top line and lyric, which pays tribute to recently fallen comrades, bassist Mark Smith, drummer Chris Dagley and singer/songwriter/guitarist Kevin Thorpe – lovely people and great musicians who left us much too soon and are sorely missed.
8. Gangsters (Littman/Ravenscroft)
The oldest track on the album, Matt first played Gangsters back in 1990 whilst working with saxophonist Raf Ravenscroft (known for his inspired playing on Gerry Rafferty’s classic Baker Street) in his short-lived band The Ravenscroft Partnership. Co-written by guitarist Julian Littman (now a member of Steeleye Span) Gangsters had stuck in Matt’s mind and when the time came to assemble material for this album Matt contacted Julian to see what had become of the song and to get a copy of the lyrics! Subjected to a Taylor blues-funk arrangement overhaul, Gangsters was the title track of The Motives 2011 EP and is the second song on the album to have been nominated in the first round of The British Blues Awards best song category – The Kevin Thorpe Memorial Award.
9. If You Were Gone (Thorpe/Tatton/Lobley)
Notwithstanding Gangsters (which is never before commercially released) If You Were Gone is the only cover version on the album, written by and recorded in tribute to Matt and Jonny’s old friend Kevin Thorpe. It was originally recorded for the Out of the Blue album Shadowplay and is co-written by Kevin’s OOTB band mates Eddie Tatton and Nigel Lobley. Matt originally recorded an acoustic slide guitar version of the song accompanied only by Roy Martin on percussion. It was decided however that this version wouldn’t work well alongside the other tracks on the album and that it should also be played live by the band, so a new arrangement was recorded featuring the full line-up (click here to download the original acoustic version for free). This version employs the raw elements of The Motives, vocal, guitar, bass, drums and electric piano, with minimal studio polishing and no further overdubs, taking its lead from the likes of Cream, Led Zeppelin and Free.
10. After All This Borrowed Time (Taylor)
With a strong hint of gospel, powered by Jonny Dyke’s piano and Hammond organ and Matt’s soulful vocal and guitar solos, After All This Borrowed Time muses on life’s bigger issues with a beautifully excecuted backing track and a lyric which at different times touches on love and loss, prosperity and greed and the state of the environment.
11. Nature’s Cruel Design (Butcher/Taylor)
The second track on the album to be co-written by Matt and Mark Butcher Nature’s Cruel Design is a Hendrixian blues-funk-rock-riff-groove, with some incendiary ensemble playing and a sassy Butcher lyric, warning a young man of being drawn to Siren-like, seductive, predatory females who will “remove pieces of you, until you can’t recognise yourself”. We hope for Butch’s sake that the lyrics aren’t based on experience.
12. Baby Don’t Lose My Number (Taylor)
A tongue in cheek ‘50’s homage closes the album with influences from some of Matt’s early heroes including Fats Domino and Eddie Cochrane. With a lyric which sees persistence in the pursuit of love rewarded, Baby Don’t Lose My Number features a Jonny Dyke boogie-woogie piano break flanked by bluesy guitar solos and a coda which echoes the song’s chorus refrain “you never know how this is going to end”.