2019 saw the arrival of the five-piece band Eddy Smith and the 507 and their music. First, with a few singles, followed by their EPs, A Little Too Late Part One and Part Two. Both releases delivered a collection of songs that oozed soul and blues goodness. These guys knew their musical lane and were happy to stick in it. Their EP’s also offered a captivating audio landscape, including soulful sounds with “Roll With It” and a feel-good factor with “Lost On You”. As a little bonus, “Down To The River” shows off their rockier side. But, each one stands out for different reasons and deserves the praise they received.
Since its release, Smith and the 507 have been kept busy. They have become a well-travelled band performing around the UK, Europe and the US, with live shows and festival appearances receiving glowing reviews (including SXSW, The Isle of Wight, Black Deer, and Americana Fest UK, to name a few). That is not all. Eddy Smith, Josh Davies, Will Franden, Ashley Webb and Ricky O’Donnell have been working on new material for their debut album. They offered a taste of what to expect with singles such as “The Good Times” and “Love Sick”. Now the wait is over as their album Right Up ’til Now is available for us all to hear.
While listening to Right Up ’til Now, the musical landscape has changed compared to their previous EPs. Maybe it has been influenced during their time on the road or a natural progression. With this album, there is a strong Americana soundtrack flowing within it. It is a new direction to their usual blues and soul sound. You can hear this with tracks like “Something For Free”. They have seamlessly integrated this new addition into the band.
To understand how good this new direction sounds, check out the opening track, “The Good Times”. It opens up with an Americana groove for Smith to come in to share a captivating tale. As it progresses, you hear a subtle, soulful side flowing within the song. A quality that stands out during the hook. When it arrives, you feel compelled to sing along with the lines, “Yeah, I’m talking bout / Hey, hey, hey, hey, where did those good times go / Hey, hey, hey, hey / Hey, hey, hey, hey, where did those good times go now”. As a little bonus, the 507 let loose their rockier side with some sublime guitar solos.
Long-time fans should not worry, as the guys have not forgotten their roots. There is still some soulful goodness within the album with moments such as “Daze” and “My Time Again”. While “Love Sick” has a toe-tapping groove with a hook that grabs the listener’s attention. Its soulful tone makes you sing along to, “If you want me come show me / If you need me come hold me / If you call me I’ll be there / You got me love sick, sick of the Blues”.
Eddy Smith and the 507 delivering another captivating collection of songs with soul with their debut album ‘Right Up ’til Now’
There are more changes found within the album. Lyrically, Eddy Smith and the 507 have always impressed, but their storytelling qualities stand out even more. It seems to feature even more during the tracks with an Americana vibe like “Rainey Street”. But, it is “Ticket Out of Here” where this side shines. It’s how the words are shared as you don’t just hear the story but feel the emotion within it. You can feel it as he shares, “I’ll be gone in the morning / I’ll be gone my dear / Oh so long I’ll be leaving / Now I got my ticket out of here, here, here”.
The way Smith adds so much soul to his words is nothing new, it’s a trait that flows consistently with each song. Even more during the slower, more soulful tracks like “The Ballad of Bobby Grey”. His voice adds so much emotion to his story. Just listen to how he delivers the lines, “Now some say they’ve seen her sail on the horizon / But I only see her when I close my eyes / Deep in my heart I think I’ve always known / That Bobby won’t ever find her way back home”.
Another example of Smith letting his vocal qualities shine is the sublime “I Don’t Remember Telling You I Loved You”. Its stripped-back sound allows for his vocals to show how good they are. It is honest and heartfelt, as heard from the opening lines, “I woke up with a mouth as dry as sand / Last night’s faded bar stamp on my hand”. He even packs a punch as he shares the song’s title during its chorus. It is a beautiful listening experience from beginning to end.
Right Up ’til Now has so much to offer, and you can hear the natural musical progression of the band. But, the bands’ soulful roots steal the show on the album with the closing track, “Fool”. Again, Eddy Smith and the 507 strips back the musical layers to give a more minimal performance that offers so much in return. Smith and his keys set the mood before their story begins, “We said goodbye as I boarded the plane / But something inside told you it won’t be the same / Somehow you knew that when I’d come home / I’d leave you all alone”.
You can hear the heartache from these lines and those that follow. An emotion perfectly reflected by the hook, “Now I’m a fool to leave you / Now I’m a fool that’s gonna make you cry / Oh but you’ll be a fool for the rest of your life / You’ll be a fool if you don’t say goodbye”. The way the song makes you feel helps give it a captivating quality. As it finishes, so does the album. It leaves you wanting more and highlights the high calibre of the music created by Eddy Smith and the 507. Just press play and let their songs of Right Up ’til Now do the talking! Your ears will thank you for doing so.