COUNTY Gazette music columnist Kevin Bryan is back with reviews of new music from Dietrich Strause and newly-released live recordings from The Rods and Mountain. 

Dietrich Strause, You and I Must Be Out Of My Mind, (Blueblade Records)

This deliciously literate and inventive offering is the skilfully crafted brainchild of Boston-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dietrich Strause.

The contents could be loosely pigeonholed as Americana, but this gifted illustrator, carpenter and all round Renaissance man is never happier than when employing a few well-chosen aural effects to inject an appealing aura of playful unpredictability into prime cuts such as 'Call To Me', 'Love Will Rule The World' and 'To Turn Away From You Now'.

The Rods, Metal Will Never Die: The Official Bootleg Box Set (1981-2010), (Cherry Red) 

The Rods’ performing career divides fairly neatly into two distinct phases, with an initial burst of creative activity in the early eighties being followed by a twenty-year hiatus before the rabble-rousing trio returned to the fray in 2008 with a newly-recruited bassist in the shape of Gary Bordonaro and a renewed commitment to the timeless values of no-holds-barred rock which had served them so well in the past.

Metal Will Never Die draws on material from an assortment of live shows which had been captured for posterity by both incarnations of the band and, although the sound quality may not be anything to write home about at times, Rods devotees should leap at the opportunity to immerse themselves in the delights of perennial crowd-pleasers such as 'Too Hot To Stop' and 'Power Lover'.

Mountain, Eruption-Around The World: 1985 & 2003, (Liberation Hall/Wienerworld)

Leslie West’s Mountain first sprang to life in 1969, drawing inspiration from prime practitioners of the British Blues Boom such as Eric Clapton’s Cream as they began to ply their trade as a muscular rock unit, enjoying a good deal of critical acclaim and solid commercial success along the way.

West rapidly established himself as one of the finest rock guitarists of his generation, and he was still a major musical force to be reckoned with when these live tracks were recorded much later in Mountain’s frustratingly intermittent career.

The larger-than-life axeman and his cohorts regailed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with choice extracts from Mountain’s back catalogue such as 'Dreams of Milk and Honey' and 'Nantucket Sleighride' alongside their inimitable revamps of The Animals’ 'House of the Rising Sun' and Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh’s 'Rocky Mountain Way'.

Written by Kevin Bryan