Broken Machine is the debut album from Ash Wilson, from Lincolnshire and one of England’s most distinctive vocalist, guitarists and song-writers, and the ten tracks on this album display a musician/ songwriter who has a natural understanding of the musical dynamics of the many different styles here.
Ash Wilson is a musician/songwriter steeped not only in the musical styles of the blues, but also the cultural history of the songs and their many historical sources , and “Broken Machine” reflects both musically and lyrically that depth of connection with both the music and its history.
“Broken Machine” for me is a little bit like listening to a musical time machine as there are songs here that clearly owe their styles to earlier times ...a trip back into the 60s, 70, 80s and 90s, but all the time still managing to bring a new and up to date feel to them at the same time. This debut album is a showcase of the wide range of styles that Ash Wilson can play and write in...there is something for everyone here, blues rock (Show Me How To Love You), an almost 1980s New Wave feel (Worlds Gone Crazy), more classic Blues sounding (Peace and Love), classic rock sounds for the title track “Broken Machine”, funkier sounds on “Out of Time”, and much more that lies in between all of these styles.
This album sees Ash Wilson working together with his brother Phil Wilson (drums and production) plus some other great musicians – Bob Fridzema (King King, Dana Fuchs), Roger Inniss (Chaka Khan, Laurence Jones) and special guest guitarist Jesse Davey (the Hoax) on “The Hitcher”.
Many people will highlight the obvious guitar talents of Ash Wilson, but you need something else extra to give you the edge in a highly competitive musical market these days, and Ash Wilson has that in his songwriting. There are some good songs here that display an ability to capture a story, a moment in time in words.
Also nice to hear on this album those classic Hammond organ sounds of Bob Fridzema.
“Broken Machine” is one of those albums that you can just as easily listen to on a night in with some friends or on the road while you travel. If I had to pick out a few favourites here, they would be “Words of a Woman” and the final track “Holding Hands”. It will be interesting to hear how Ash Wilson develops in later albums some of the many musical threads that he has started to weave on this debut album.
For more information about Ash Wilson visit
1 Show Me How to Love You
2 World's Gone Crazy
3 Peace and Love
4 Broken Machine
5 Words of a Woman
6 Out of Time
7 The Hitcher
8 Hold On Now
9 Lonely Room
10 Holding Hands
Ash Wilson’s album ‘Broken Machine’ is released on Friday 21st April.
Review by Tom King
Album Review Friday 27th January 2017