Derek Lee Goodreid is a passionate singer-songwriter, a tough guitar player and a spontaneous performer. The songs on his latest Americana roots-based album, “God, The Devil and I” has a relentless percussive feel that injects the recording with a constant sense of urgency, if not restlessness. All 11 tracks have a live in the studio feel, but are lovingly polished by Goodreid’s self-production. From the opening lines of the title track, with its Yardbirds style vocal accompaniment, Derek Lee digs deep for his muscular brand of blues and rock n’ roll. It’s almost as if he’s constantly looking to go the extra yard. This album is full of gut wrenching tunes from the heart, which is nicely encapsulated by the rollicking second track “Sweet Devil Below”.
The following “I Kissed The Devil” pushes Derek Lee Goodreid’s big voice to the center stage of a swampy atmospheric production, full of pounding drums and rumbling bass, resonant guitars. Once again the emphasis is placed on the dynamics of the arrangement right down to the perfunctory ending.
It’s a track well suited to Goodreid’s passionate performance, as is “Keep Your Mouth Shut”, which is full of riff and strum driven bluster, as well as busy drum sweeps, over a relentless start-stop percussive back beat. But hang on, there’s meaningful lyrics and a super-tight band too.
Derek Lee Goodreid doesn’t do things by half, so he has employed musicians from all over the world including Russia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy and Nigeria among others, which makes this album a quality calling card from a bunch of dependable musicians on the underground circuit.
Goodreid seems to have given them plenty of room in arrangements that are full of intensity and mutual musical respect. Derek Lee himself is one fluid and clean guitarist and his soulful blues vocals hits home. With tasty guitar work, excellent musicianship, and feel good rocking tunes, this album has a lot going on.
I do admit that I came late to this party as I hadn’t heard of Derek Lee Goodreid before “God, The Devil and I”. Goodreid and his band sound like seasoned, excellent players who are having a musical blast, especially on the upbeat “Red Dust Road”.
This one’s a real cooker, so turn the player up to 11 before pressing play. But with each song, you can hear just how rooted this Australian singer and songwriter is in the music. There are certain musicians who merge with their music, as if they’re living and breathing it, and that tends to communicate a certain soulfulness. That’s Derek Lee Goodreid, hands down.
“My Majestic Mountain Home”, slows thing down nicely allowing you to catch your breath and enjoy the melody and take in the cool stringed organic sounds. Goodreid serves up some tasty mid-tempo roadhouse sounds on “Sevenfold” before sliding into the swampy, murky guitar sounds of “My Inheritance”.
Goodreid’s genius and charisma leap right out on the eclectic “Prodigal”. While at root, it is tracks like “For All Time” and “Where Is Your Sting” that amply showcase the artist’s songwriting and limber vocal aptitude. These songs seem simple in execution, but immense in impact.
The album is a knockout on first listen and just gets better with every play. It will hit the green light for Derek Lee Goodreid’s fans and it’s bound to land him a few more. We highly recommend getting “God, The Devil and I”. Play it loud and often.