British rock act The Petal Falls has had a frustrating history since its beginnings in the mid 1990s. The brain child of singer-songwriter Keith Leahy, the band was originally formed to provide a performance platform for his music, and ultimately consisted of Leahy and four other musicians: Robert Harpum (guitar), Dave Richards (guitar), Marius Ryndziewicz (bass) and Robin Tucker (drums).. Based on their early success, they signed with a mid-tier music label, thinking it would lead to even greater success, but instead, it only resulted in their ultimate undoing. The label ended up stifling their creativity and stalling their career for several years, which led to a great deal of frustration among band members and their eventual demise, without ever having been given the opportunity to publicly release any of their prodigious output of songs.
Thankfully, a few years ago their music catalog once again became available for release, and Keith jumped at the opportunity to re-master the original recordings by the original The Petal Falls lineup into four albums, with help of his friend and producer/engineer/drummer John King. The first of those albums, Workin All Night Workin All Day, was released a year ago, on July 31, 2020. Public and critical response to the album has been pretty phenomenal for an act that had long ago been given up for dead, and collectively, the album’s ten tracks have garnered over 430,000 streams on Spotify alone. The album’s success has inspired Keith to resurrect The Petal Falls as a solo project, recording and releasing new music in collaboration with King, who has vast experience both as a producer/engineer and as a drummer with such bands as Legacy, White Lightning, Tru Blues, Bad Habbits and Colonel Kurtz.
Now Keith is set to release his second album All These Years on September 3rd. In advance of the album, he dropped the first single “Liberated” on July 2nd, and now follows today, August 6th, with the second single “I Won’t Be There“. The song is a re-mastered version of the original recording by the full band, with added keyboards by Duncan Lowe and backing vocals by Sharon Wallace. The song is a powerful kiss-off to someone who’s hurt and disappointed you far too many times. Keith’s vocals are spine-tingling as he passionately rails “I can feel the poison, ripping me apart. Self pity overwhelming me, and creeping through my heart. You gonna need me. Gonna come a time gonna come a day when you need me. All you gotta do all you gotta say is you need you need me. Gonna come a time gonna come a day,
and I won’t be there, I won’t be there.”
Musically, “I Won’t Be There” is a beautiful and intense, melodic rocker, with an exuberant driving beat, lush synths, sharp percussion, and layer upon layer of intricate guitars, all building into an intoxicating wall of sound. The guitar work is spectacular, from the grinding buzz-saw riffs that continue throughout the track, to the lovely little chiming guitar notes, to the wailing burst of distortion in the bridge. I love Keith’s deep, resonant vocals, which remind me a little of Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale. In fact, the song has a discernable 80s rock feel, which is fine with me, as I love a lot of music from that period. Both it and “Liberated” are superb songs, and I’m certain All These Years will be another solid album.