Martin Turner The Garden PartyMusic by Wishbone Ash has almost always been a plus in my listening experiences. For one reason or another, they had an awesome sense of the Blues, Rock and Roll, great guitar playing, great drumming, bass, and vocals, and stage presence to keep me happy. And while I do not say that I loved everything they have done, I can easily go from the debut album on through to No Smoke Without Fire with a smile, track for track. The rest seem to be hit or miss with me.

On this Garden Party extravaganza, Martin Turner was joined by Laurie Wisefield, Ted Turner, and Steve Upton (who did not drum on any of the songs found on this live recording), to bring together most of the classic lineup. And that’s always a pleasantry. The private affair occurred in 2012

On Garden Party, there are seventeen tracks, all classic Ash tunes. Most of this live set is undertaken by the Martin Turner assembly, who plays the music of Wishbone Ash, and does it well. But, on several tracks, Martin is joined by either Laurie Wisefield or Ted Turner, even both during the closer track, “Jailbait”.  Ted Turner plays on “Valediction”, “The King Will Come”, “In The Skin”, and “Why Don’t We”, while Laurie Wisefield spontaneously joins on “Living Proof”. On all tracks that either of them play on, the feeling is a more natural one.

The tracks that Ted Turner feature on are beautiful, just as you would expect. His guitar is quite recognizable. The same is said of Laurie Wisefield. The bonus of both of them on “Jailbait” is beyond expectations. However, the entire 2CD set is a necessary addition to ANY Wishbone Ash library. In fact, it’s essential! The Garden Party is an extraordinary.

I love The Garden Party for the obvious reasons. It’s as close to a reunion as we’re likely to get at this point.

Track list – The Garden Party

CD1:
1. STANDING IN THE RAIN
2. REST IN PEACE
3. HAUNTING ME
4. LADY JAY
5. FIRE SIGN
6. THE PILGRIM
7. WAY OF THE WORLD
8. NO EASY ROAD

CD2:
1. DOCTOR
2. BROKEN DOWN HOUSE
3. VALEDICTION
4. THE KING WILL COME
5. PRELUDE
6. IN THE SKIN
7. WHY DON’T WE
8. LIVING PROOF
9. JAILBAIT

Release Date: October 27, 2014
Label: Cherry Red Records
Website
Availability: (2CD)

–Matt Rowe

By MARowe

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