Welsh Guitar God Gets Loose and Philisophical


When Andy Fairweather Low hits a high note on the word forgiveness, he sounds completely unselfconscious, and finesses the stretch with as much grace as any 58-year-old rocker can muster. Sweet Soulful Music, his first solo effort in 26 years, finds his conflicted humanism as aphoristic, sneaky, and charming as it was on ’70s records like Spider Jiving and La Booga Rooga. The Welsh-born Low has spent the last quarter-century as a guitarist for stars like Roger Waters and Eric Clapton, but his take on rootsy rock ‘n’ roll is sexier than anything Clapton has done since 461 Ocean Boulevard. Low’s guitar and pleasantly mush-mouthed tenor demonstrate how looseness doesn’t necessarily preclude control, and on the raving “One More Rocket,” he sings, “Freigeist Zeitgeist Nietzsche Rée Schopenhauer/Where there’s a way to go/There’s always a will to power,” proving that conflicted humanism trumps any rocker’s blatant appeal to divinity.