If you need to shake free of negativity and media misery, then this is the way to go! Featuring ten infectious slide guitar savvy tracks, Troy Redfern’s “Wings of Salvation” album is released on Friday, September 23rd, and it blasts a hole through any tears. You can only listen to this with a smile on your face. It is “old school classic rock” and is produced by Dave Marks (Hans Zimmer) at the UK’s Dulcitone Studios, “The Wings of Salvation” is an exciting new chapter in Redfern’s trajectory, not only as a slide guitarist, but as a creative force in the recording studio. After releasing an unprecedented six albums in just under two years, Troy’s new album, “The Wings of Salvation,” is his most compelling work to date. The album highlights Redfern’s powerfully edgy vocal delivery, condensed songwriting skills, and tight arrangements, complimented by his trademark “firebrand” slide guitar playing.

Troy settled down with Rock the Joint Magazine to talk about the upcoming album and reflect on the music business today.

We began with some guitar talk as anyone looking at the publicity pictures of Troy recently will see some very impressive guitars. These have changed from “Sign of the Times” and  earlier material. Troy has a different style, so a quick note for the guitar geeks out there.

Troy- There’s one that’s a 1929 National Triolian Resonator, that’s the white one. But I’m also using my 1935 Dobro resonator, which features heavily on the new album, along with my Magnatone Twilighter Amplifier. I found this to be a killer combination. It’s such a huge tone without the need for layers and layers of guitar tracks. Most people who play those older guitars play ragtime and old blues. That’s the stereotypical thing you do with those guitars. That never really interested me, replicating music from the 20’s or 30’s. So, by putting the pickups on the front, it gives you the option to be electric, so you can go through the amplifiers and pedals and change the sound completely. So you keep the character of the vintage guitar and they have a side to them, but it gives you the scope to create different sounds. That is what I’ve been doing with them. 

Photo by Adam Kennedy

They are amazing instruments with a really distinctive look. The new album is heading our way, and may be with you by the time you read this. It has a great rocky feel and at the time of the interview, the single “Come On” had been released, a bombastic, high-energy blues boogie that comes out of the gate like a tasered rodeo horse. A traditional blues beat, but on steroids with a dash of glam rock, “Come On” epitomises what Troy does best – fuzzed up slide guitar, big choruses, and raw slide guitar solos.

Troy-Thanks. I put out an album last year called “The Fire Cosmic,” which had more of a rock production, so it’s quite a bit heavier. The earlier albums had elements of rockabilly and blues, but “The Fire Cosmic,” mainly due to the producer, had a rock feel. I had Darby Todd on drums, and he is a heavy drummer, and your album is largely defined by your drummer. If you have a heavy drummer, everything you build on top of that is going to sound big. So this one is slightly different. I got together with bass player Dave Marks to produce it. We wrote and recorded it from zero to completion in four weeks. We did it fast and we had a clear idea of what we wanted for the aesthetic of the album, sound-wise. We wanted to sound real, and the takes we wanted to be complete takes, not chopped up in the studio, which is often what tends to happen. We were not after chopping about and seeking perfection, we wanted something closer to the classic rock era back in the day, bands where there were real takes. Everything is one take, with no auto tune or fixes. 

When you think about it, The Beatles recorded their first album in one day, “Abbey Road” in a month. Sometimes we massively over-egg the pudding today in the studio, and in doing so we can lose the sense of spontaneous creation.

Troy- We also had schedules and time constraints to get things done. We had a window and that gives you focus. Dave Marks was fantastic. Usually I work by myself, but the way we did things was great, a shared dropbox and sending things back and forth. No time to think. I think I had forty ideas that we whittled down to ten, but doing lyrics for ten in one go was hard. I normally would slowly go through songs and lyrics….I do all the writing except for one song that I did with my partner Emma. 

We discussed songwriting and the old question of whether the lyric or the melody/riff comes first in the process.

Troy- Normally I’d have an acoustic guitar or a resonator and just play around with the chord ideas and then just sing over the top. I’d record that, listen to whatever I have got and see if there is a contour to the lyrics and how it sounds. I like lyrics that sound good. Sometimes words don’t sing well. It’s quite tricky as you need the vowel sounds at the ends of lines and to hold a narrative too.

Photo by Les Linyard

We had to raise an off-beam question somewhere. In the earlier promotional videos, Troy was with Dark Horse Studios, and there was a neighing horse that would start off the show. You’d hear that on “The Line,” for example, a song that is a load of fun. That’s gone now, and we kind of wondered why.

Troy- When was that? Three years ago? If you listen closely, the neighing horse blends into a panther, it overlaps between the neighing horse and the back end of the sound is a panther. I was just trying to make it interesting. We had another one with the car accelerating away that we did for a while. Maybe we got carried away.

Troy was heading off to film the video for “Gasoline” after the interview, so we squeezed in a last point or two. We discussed the entertainment aspect of the blues, how the great blues players would come on with a look and a visual style. 

Troy- There is a certain mythologising about early blues. There is a romanticised version of the early twenties. Those guys were entertainers. They would ham it up, and they were not sitting there on a stool at the crossroads. It may work in art, but look at Guitar Slim, the guy who inspired Buddy Guy and Frank Zappa to play. He would wear green suits and dye his hair green, and he’d have this fifty-foot cable that allowed him to go out into the audience. So the show element of the blues genre has always been there. Also look at Hill Country Blue. They played rural and raw, they never went to a club. Mississippi Fred McDowell’s music has a very strong character. That’s what I liked, before it got super slick.

Photo by Kirk Lothian

We feel in the magazine that there is a real resurgence of British blues that is much rockier than its current American cousin. Troy slots in well with bands like Five Points Gang, leading a rock edged blues into the British scene. It’s Southern blues with an edge.

Troy- I don’t want to replicate other artists. If you are a painter and you replicate a Monet, is that art, or replication?  I listened to bands like Van Halen and Hendrix growing up. It is the form you use, pentatonic based, but no replication of the blues. You must have something of yourself in the music to have an identity. 

That is certainly the case for the new album, which has a strong identity, and it’s time to get excited as it will be out soon! In the last nine months, Troy has completed four full UK tours, garnering an overwhelming response from music critics, reviewers, and fans alike. He has toured with Robert Jon & The Wreck, The Quireboys, The Sweet, and When Rivers Meet. In October 2022, he will embark on a 12-date UK tour supporting DARE, followed by a headline European tour in November 2022, including a concert in Transylvania.

The UK tour starts in October, kicking off in Leeds and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.Troy Redfern, he’s coming your way!

We hope you liked the feature. If you did, then please note that we have free content throughout the magazine. However, we really appreciate it if you do buy us a coffee using the “support us” link below. Thanks.

By Mark C. Chambers

3 Replies to “Troy Redfern introduces his new album, “Wings of Salvation.””

  1. I don’t often leave reviews, but I’ll make an exception in this case. This is a well-designed, well-researched feature. I want to say I’m surprised at the quality & the quantity – without offending the owner 😂 but how could I? Well done, Mark. This is a professional enterprise, and I feel confident it will reach a lot of people.

  2. Interesting interview and music; the YouTube videos at the bottom were a nice touch and now I know about Redfern I may start listening to him regularly

  3. Nice article, youtube videos at the bottom are a nice touch – good music I’m going to have to check Redfern out on my spotify

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.