I have a passion for great guitar playing, and great music in general! Jimmy Page made sure of that. Because Jimmy and Robert had such impact on me, when I was young I started exploring the music they liked and found I loved a lot of it too. They opened up another whole world of musical inspiration for me. If you have never ventured far from your usual favorites, I am going suggest some things that you should listen to from my music collection. You may not like all of it, but have a go. So many people have such a limited musical sheet!
The first I am going to suggest is Justin Adams, who currently plays in Robertâ€™s band The Strange Sensation. He has worked with a number of other artists including Jah Wobble, Peter Gabriel and Sinead Oâ€™Connor. He is incredible! I saw him in Cork in July and was suitably impressed. I knew I would be with Robertâ€™s choice of band mates. The type of music that Justin loves â€“ Middle Eastern, North African rooted, has always inspired Robert and Jimmy. This is where Justinâ€™s forte lies. Robert I am sure would have been drawn to him for that reason, as he loves world music and especially music from those regions. The night of the show, when they got into playing the Zeppelin stuff I knew I would have an immediate â€˜I want Jimmyâ€™ moment, but Justin is excellent and I wasnâ€™t disappointed. Justin says he wasnâ€™t particularly a fan of Led Zeppelin when he grew up, so he isnâ€™t tied to the idea he has to be Jimmy. Which is a good thing because thereâ€™s only ONE Pagey anyway, and it means Robert can change up the music a bit, which he likes to do.
Prior to seeing them live, as soon as I found out Justin was playing with Robert (incidentally he played on Dreamland too), I went to check out his solo album Desert Road. Itâ€™s a wonderful album, where Justin fuses together Delta Blues, North African, and Middle Eastern playing, and it is certainly a very exotic and cool mix. Justin is well placed to be able to play this type of music because he grew up in Jordan and Egypt where his dad worked as a diplomat. He was exposed to all these types of music, so his playing reflects that. He says the desert has always meant a lot to him, â€œIn the city, it’s all input and stimulation, but in the desert all that is stripped away. You’re forced to kind of look inward, in a way. That’s where all the interesting stuff goes on.” And for sure his album reflects that. It has wonderful moments of deepness and beauty, as well as good old rocking blues. Justin sings on several of the tracks and plays a lot of instruments on it, including a cardboard box!
So check out Justin Adams – on Robertâ€™s album Mighty Rearranger, and especially on his own Desert Road. Beautiful stuff.