A look above and a few details immediately catch the eyes: the beautiful colored labels are (1) undoubtedly of a vinyl single, (2) similar to each other, but one is in the name of “Steve Ellis and Cow” and the other “Cow & Steve Ellis” and (3) both have a big -A- …
Yes, Cow are back after 3 years since their second album “Dedicated to the Mighty Drum” with this double-A-side single I had the privilege and pleasure to receive and play, fresh from the masters of the Black Barn Studio (owned, as You probably known, by the Modfather)
I liked it at first listen indeed (as always happens with every release since I came across this band) …well.. “I loved it” is more appropriate as I can tell you with certainty and large advance that this 45rpm will remain in my top5 of the year. Two songs written by the cowuple 😉 Maxine and Mark Boxall, and sung in duet with the legendary singer of Love Affair, Mr.Steve Ellis, who they met in a Brighton clothes and record shop 2 years ago and became friends with. “Rise” infact will be part of Steve Ellis’ next album, while “Up” will be included in the 3rd album of Cow, planned for autumn release.
I’m not exactly a journalist, so this is not a review, more a matter of the personal feeling of enjoyment and good emotions I’d like to spread. The two songs are simply fab, “Rise” is the folky side, with a mandolin (played by Maxine) that brings me back to the immortal Ronnie Lane in his Slim Chance phase, an heavenly soulful melody and a catchy, almost trad-jazz, middle-eight with Kev’s tuba. “Up” then, more upbeat, led by Andy Lewis’ percussive bass, it is closer to the freshness of the first Style Council productions, written and orchestrated with the usual classic blue-eyed soul pop touch of the Boxalls.
Production by Charles Rees is bright and clean, both vocals and instruments, and fits in perfectly. I’ve already mentioned Steve Ellis (Love Affair) and Andy Lewis (Paul Weller Band) but the musicianship of absolute excellence features also the multi-instrumentalist Tom Heel (ex-The Moons, now with Monroze) here in the unusual role of drummer, then Kenny Carroll, Kevin Wallbank and…. a certain Mr. Paul Weller playing the old joanna and guitar.
It’s a limited edition vinyl-only release, out soon, so You better hurry up and pre-order it directly from the band, writing to Maxine@cowmusic.co.uk If you have not already guessed by my enthusiastic words, it is highly recommended for everyone, including “us”, Paul Weller fans, of course! 🙂
cheers the cap
Cow and Steve Ellis “Rise / Up”
Limited edition double A side vinyl single and digital download
Release date: tbc (2015)
Vocals: Maxine Boxall, Steve Ellis and Mark Boxall
Guitars: Mark Boxall and Paul Weller
Bass: Andy Lewis
Drums: Tom Heel
Keys: Kenny Carroll
Piano: Paul Weller
Tuba: Kevin Wallbank
Mandolin: Maxine Boxall
Strings: Mark Boxall
Written by Cow,
Engineered by Charles Rees at Black Barn