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Ken Hensley - Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf CD (album) cover

PROUD WORDS ON A DUSTY SHELF

Ken Hensley

 

Prog Related

3.35 | 24 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars First solo album by Uriah Heep´s main songwriter/keyboardist/guitarrist Ken Hensley. It was released when his band was at the peak of its rising to fame. Certainly it was a prolific period for him, for he wrote most of UH´s material and still had time to produce some interesting effords under his own name. It seems that Hensley had a wide range of influences and wanted to put out some tunes that somehow wouldn´t fit his group´s sound.

The first thing you notice when you put the record on is the fact that he is also a very good vocalist, with a voice that is quite similar to Uriah Heep´s David Byron. Hensley´s not as strong, of course, but it works very well here. Recorded with the help of UH´s rhythm session (Lee Kerslake on drums and the brilliant Gary Thain on bass) it is no wonder the LP often sounded like his main band on some tracks: the opener When Evening Comes and Fortune could be in any UH album of that period. But the majority of the songs show Hensley´s more introspective, acoustic side (with some strong blues and country influences). Oddly, one of the tunes ended up on the Magician´s Birthday album, but it was the piano ballad Rain. Comparing those two versions, I see they are quite similar, but I tend to think UH´s interpretation is the best.

Overall the feeling of this solo venture is very good. Pround Words In A Dusty shelf is not as strong as Hensley´s better work with Uriah Heep: sometimes you really think some of the tracks would be great under the group´s banner, but that´s just especulation. Nor there is much prog here either. But most of all it confirms that Ken Hensley is a very talented, gifted and sensitive songwriter.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |

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