Cumbria Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
1:00 AM 2nd March 2024

Albums: Swing Fever Rod Stewart With Jools Holland

Swing Fever Rod Stewart With Jools Holland

Lullaby Of Broadway; Oh Marie; Sentimental Journey; Pennies From Heaven; Night Train; The Sweetest Thing; Them There Eyes; Good Rockin’ Tonight; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Frankie and Johnny; Walkin’ My Baby Back Home; Almost Like Being In Love; Tennessee Waltz

(Warner Records) 5054197801686

Besides sharing a love of miniature railways both Rod Stewart and Jools Holland have a passion for the big band songs of the ‘30s and ‘40s as witnessed here on this new album which celebrates a golden era in music.

Stewart has previously visited the songs of some of music’s biggest artists via his journey through the Great American Songbook - albums which gave him further success, though this new album may come as a disappointment to his fans who might have been expecting to hear Stewart perform some new songs.

Hearing the artist who belted out hits along the lines of Maggie May and Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? covering tracks like The Sweetest Thing and Tennessee Waltz is a harsh reminder of where Stewart finds himself in the musical world in 2024.

Granted though, at 79, his voice suits most of these songs – his vocal rasp is still one of the most recognised in music and there is no doubting who is singing here. His warm tone makes Night Train sound inviting and comforting, whilst Holland lends his big band trademark style to Pennies From Heaven with his piano driving along Sentimental Journey in fine style.

Stewart has said that he will no longer be touring as much, if this is the case then this new album is a natural conclusion – it almost feels like he is easing himself into a slower pace of life, albeit with a grin as you can feel the joy and love both he and Holland shared when recording the album.

The new partners in swing have shared their peerless dexterity on what is a tribute to a set of truly great songs.