Stuart Wicke – Doxology
Blues Rock | Americana
It’s hard to escape the evident Americana influences at work on this album by Kentucky based singer/songwriter Stuart Wicke. However rather than the mellow folk that tends to make up the majority of the genre, Wicke follows a heavier path paved by the likes of Neil Young and The Allman Brothers. The heavy blues rock of opening track ‘Simple Beauty’ kicks things off in style and ‘Friends’ has a great Dire Straits vibe. There is a high standard of musicianship at work here with tracks like ‘I Love You Too’ showing great light and shade between the soft acoustic build of the intro leading into the main body of the song which is punctuated with expressive electrifying licks and great subtle bass tones. Standout track ‘Bethany’ makes a nice change of pace and features some surprisingly soulful vocals in a passionate and bittersweet performance.
At times I feel like the songwriting needs work but the main thing that is holding the album back is poor production. Doxology could have gone one of two ways; either a slick and polished radio ready performance or a raw and wild snapshot of a man giving it his all. Neither of those directions have been followed, production has simply been used to iron out the creases rather than make an effort to push the album to become something greater. There’s still plenty of good music but I feel like the best is yet to come. The album may still be a bit rough around the edges but there is certainly a lot of potential here, and with a bit more technical knowhow to work in tandem with Stuart Wicke’s artful Americana I can see him creating a top notch must own album in the future.