Marked by the distinctive intertwining of Robbie McIntosh’s guitar lines with pedal steel and harmonica retorts, the second album by the Robbie McIntosh Band is a colorful, dynamic set of tight roots-pop. Features guest performances by Chrissie Hynde and ... more
"I think everything you listen to has an influence over what you write and the way you play," says Robbie McIntosh. "It all goes into the machine, and then comes out all minced up. People whom I’ve admired as writers over the years include Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Jimmy Webb, and Chrissie Hynde, but to say I wrote songs anywhere near as good as those guys would be presumptuous to the max." McIntosh needn’t worry though. His solo debut album Emotional Bends was widely praised; Performing Songwriter Magazine called it "as stunning a debut as you’re likely to hear!" The album was a Top 10 hit on Gavin’s non-comm AAA chart (where it spent a total of 14 weeks) and earned him an appearance on the Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn and features in a variety of national publications including Billboard, Stereo Review’s Sound & Vision, Blues Review and Gannett News Wire.
Robbie McIntosh returns with a vengeance on Widescreen, his sophmore release. McIntosh and company are in rare form, delivering another stinging set of rootsy, hard hitting songs with McIntosh’s raw vocals and mind bending electric guitar style front and center. McIntosh penned all 12 tracks on Widescreen and his writing style slips easily from folk-oriented guitar pop to stark balladry, Texas swing and whisky-drenched blues. Standout tracks include Fire and Flame, a longing love ballad featuring McIntosh’s former Pretenders boss Chrissie Hynde on harmony vocals and Separate Tables, featuring the vocal support of fellow Englishman Paul Young. Throughout the album, McIntosh Band members harmonica master Mark Feltham, pedal steel player Melvin Duffy and drummer Paul Beavis all deliver scorching performances. Not only are these guys some incredible musicians, it’s also clear that they have fun making music together. That energy shines throughout the album and perhaps nowhere better than on No Feeling for the Blues, a high energy blues shuffle with a nod to Bob Wills that gives the players a chance to step out.
But the core attraction here is Robbie McIntosh. While his guitar playing is sure to please fans from his Pretenders and McCartney days, it is his writing and singing on Widescreen that are likely to attract the most attention. He has a penchant for coming up with hook ladened pop music; take the opening track Rat in a Hole for example with its catchy chorus that’s likely to lodge itself in the listener’s mind for days. But McIntosh also gives the listener some lyrically introspective offerings as well, such as the moody Edge of the Same Old World which is a musical cross between Dire Straits and Fairport Convention. Throughout, he shapes his vocal delivery to suit the song and impresses with the versatility and expressiveness of his voice. That’s a rare feat for a musician who, prior to his debut release, was known only as a guitarist and sideman.
McIntosh began his career as a guitarist for the group Night in 1978 whose song Hot Summer Nights went to #18 in America. The group toured the U.S. supporting The Doobie Brothers in 1978-1979 which led to a relationship with producer Richard Perry and work with Littlefeat and Jackson Browne. He came to national attention when he joined the Pretenders in 1982. Since that time, he toured as a member of the Paul McCartney Band for 6 years and has appeared on countless recordings by a literal who’s who in pop music including Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, George Martin, Paul Young, Joe Cocker, Mark Knopfler, Annie Lennox and Carl Perkins. He has performed in major venues all over the globe and has played at the Greatest Show on Earth - Live Aid. McIntosh currently resides in Dorsett, England, and tours regularly with The Robbie McIntosh Band.