Bernard Fowler from the album Inside Out available Rhyme and Reason Records (by Bryant Liggett)
Bernard Fowler has logged long on-the-road hours with The Rolling Stones, earning the backing vocalist the right to mess with their songs. As a man who has spent three decades standing behind Mick Jagger and company as a back-up singer, Bernard Fowler is likely well versed in a chunk of the band’s catalog. On his latest solo effort, Inside Out, Bernard Folwer reinvents some Stones classics, digging deep into the group’s catalog to find forgotten if not completely ignored gems, performing a spoken word breath of fresh air for the songs, providing drama when “Tie You Up” becomes the percussive heavy album opener on a Beat Poet cadence that finds Fowler questioning ‘the pain of love’.
“Dancing with Mr. D” is introduced with a funky riff snagged from the memory of 1970’s cop film. The sax solo in “Undercover of the Night” wades knee-deep through street grit while “Sister Morphine” is played loose as Bernard Fowler becomes the narrator conveying a junkie’s desperation and “All The Way Down” is driven by a subtle guitar riff. “Sympathy for the Devil” has all the mystery as the original Stones version, the spoken word delivery of the lyrics upping the ante on perception, the “hoo hoo’s” still present however that familiar guitar solo beautifully replaced by a grand piano. Purists may disapprove of the Gil Scott-Heron influenced liberties taken by Bernard Fowler but straight-up tribute was not the intent. Inside Outhas put the grit of the lyrics in the forefront, celebrating the re-imagining of these songs with a new street life. (by Bryant Liggett)
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