In his 2019 Goldmine interview about his work with The Raz Band, Natural Gas and Badfinger, Joey Molland said, “’No Matter What’ is a showstopper once you start that guitar lick. Everybody knows what song that is, and it always brings a smile to people’s faces.” That Badfinger hit is referenced at the end of Joey’s new song “All I Want to Do,” with an “ooh girl” segment after a chorus line of “All I want to do is get back to you.”
The catchy “Rainy Day Man” features a mid-1960s Beatles guitar sound and strong harmonies. “Heaven” follows at a slower pace with a moodiness found in Julian Lennon’s work, who is a guest background vocalist on some of the songs, along with being the album cover’s photographer.
The finale is the title song “Be True to Yourself,” another one that Beatles fans will enjoy with its string and vocal arrangements, which would fit nicely on the Sgt. Pepper album. Joey co-wrote all ten songs with Mark Hudson, who produced the album for Omnivore Recordings.
The year before Goldmine spoke with Joey Molland, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apple, including an article on Mary Hopkin, featuring an interview with her daughter Jessica Lee Morgan. Mary can still hit the high notes like we first heard on “Those Were the Days” in 1968, recorded at Abbey Road. Now Another Road has been released on the Mary Hopkin Music label, with all 10 songs written by her.
“Single Woman” contains empowering lyrics with an acoustic guitar backdrop and a bit of light sax. There is beauty, including the background vocals, on the piano driven “Here We Are.” “Love is Gone” is both catchy and bouncy.
Mary shares a tale of patriotism and the impact of war on soldiers’ lives and their families on “Red, White and Blue.” “Valentine” is both pretty and moody with a nice accent on her accordion that she inherited from her mother.
Mary Hopkin is also planning to release a Christmas album later this year featuring Welsh and English carols plus bonus tracks.
Jessica Lee Morgan’s new album Forthright begins with the catchy “Packing Up.” The initial rhythm is reminiscent of the 1970s song recorded at Abbey Road Studios, “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel. Jessica’s sax recalls a sound heard in productions by her father Tony Visconti on David Bowie and T. Rex recordings, which were also highlighted in our Goldmine 2018 interview about her album Around the Block. “When Did It All Begin” is next, with quirky fun about checking email, Twitter, and a long list of sources, declaring, “Too many ways to communicate.”
“We’ll Dance Through Life” is a beautifully sung 3/4 time piece, backdropped by piano. The beauty continues with “Under Your Spell,” filled with melodic moodiness.
“The Man” offers Jim Croce-like storytelling that one might hear at a folk coffeehouse, accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a unique bridge which breaks from the folk sound.
Jessica and her partner Christian Thomas have one hour live stream concerts, with information on her website.
In addition to Joey Molland’s new solo album on Omnivore Recordings, Joey can also be heard a new Cleopatra Records single as the last surviving member of Badfinger, with the current band lineup, along with Rick Wakeman, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Badfinger’s Top 40 debut single “Come & Get It.” On classic songs by Yes, Rick Wakeman was heard on a variety of keyboards. With this new and refreshing Badfinger cover, Rick’s guest piano playing jumps out nicely. Joey takes over the lead vocal that Badfinger’s Tom Evans brought to the original Apple single, written by Paul McCartney.