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What Kevin Heard: The Yardbirds' Roger The Engineer is an 'exercise in musical psychadelia'

Kevin Bryan listens to records from time gone by, including Roger The Engineer by The Yardbirds, Christina McMaster's Un Hommage a Erik and The Greatest Love by Marty Balin

The Yardbirds' Roger the Engineer is "an exercise in musical psychedelia"

Fancy picking up a new album to enjoy this week, but not sure what to go for?

Here's music reviewer Kevin Bryan's low-down on another selection of albums from years gone by:

The Yardbirds, Roger The Engineer (Repertoire)

This fascinating CD re-issue serves up mono and stereo versions of The Yardbirds' classic 1966 album, alongside a few interesting obscurities and five solo offerings from vocalist Keith Relf.

As an exercise in musical psychedelia it's well nigh irresistible, with the use of backward tapes and controlled feedback underpinning demon guitarist Jeff Beck's sparkling exploits on stand-out tracks such as Over Under Sideways Down, Jeff's Boogie and Hot House.

Christina McMaster, Un Hommage a Erik (Words & Music)

Composer Richard Fowles penned this charming collection of keyboard miniatures to mark the 150th birthday of French composer Erik Satie, who despite being a relatively unsung hero during his own lifetime is now rightly recognised as one of the most distinctive and influential musical figures of his generation.

Fowles' affectionate tributes to the unique legacy of this master of melancholy minimalism are delivered with poise and precision by pianist Christina McMaster, with A Walk To The Chat Noir on a Snowy Day and Sylvie emerging as musical highlights.

Marty Balin, The Greatest Love (MVD Audio)

Cincinnati born Balin may have been pursuing a solo career for more than three decades now but this highly distinctive songwriter and vocalist is still best known for his trailblazing exploits with counter cultural icons Jefferson Airplane during the late sixties and early seventies.

Balin's latest offering was recorded in collaboration with upright bassist Lloyd Goldstein and guitarist Chuck Morrongiello and mines a familiar vein of mildly overwrought romanticism, although lyrically it doesn't really reveal any real progression from the material that he was creating almost half a century ago.

Robert Rex Waller, Jr. Fancy Free (Western Seeds)

This multi-talented character somehow manages to accommodate the demands of life as a university professor whilst maintaining parallel careers as playwright and prime practitioner of the finest Americana.

Rob's latest recording project finds him applying his warm baritone vocals to an eclectic collection of covers which run the gamut from The Doors' Crystal Ship to Willie Nelson's Me And Paul via a glorious piano led re-vamp of Ray Davies' timeless Waterloo Sunset.

Want to listen to more new music? Check out our weekly Unsigned Friday columns for new talent

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