Reef - How I Got Over - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Reef - How I Got Over

by Mark Steele Rating:9 Release Date:2016-03-04

It has been a long time arriving has new material from west country Brit-rockers Reef. Gary Stringer, Jack Bessant, Dominic Greensmith and Jesse Wood revealed at the beginning of this year news of a new tour in the UK and The Republic of Ireland.

Furthermore, a new double-album has been recorded - produced by the band's long-time friend and collaborator, the legendary George Drakoulias - of their two-night sold-out final leg of last year’s tour in St Ives, Cornwall.

From this, Reef have lavished upon us an uplifting belter of a song in ‘How I Got Over’, a cover a gospel song written by Clara Ward in 1951. It was written as a celebration in reaction to a dissipated aggravation, which occurred during the racial segregation in the Deep South. The song was first covered by Mahalia Jackson in 1962, then later a soulful rhythm change by Aretha Franklin in 1972 gave it a fresh perspective, and then further The Blind Boys of Alabama in 2008. Now Reef have put their raw impetus on the song, which is closely based on Aretha Franklin’s version.

The opening of begins with a notable piano motif played by Andy Wallace, which is almost identical to the opening piano riff on Otis Redding’s 1960’s Soul classic ‘Hard to Handle’. That which follows is a non-stop soul train express, with guitars, bass, keys and drums steaming along, wanting to take anyone who wants to jump on with it. Gary’s preacher-man southern fried vocals, showcases why he rightly deserves to be up there alongside renowned British Rock n Roll frontmen such as Robert Plant, Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, David Coverdale, Paul Rodgers and many others.

Upon initial news of the song’s release and then a music video posted via YouTube, the Reef faithful have become seemingly divided on opinion. Some have embraced the song wholeheartedly and equally there those who are passing on purchasing the song. This may be due in part, to the full-on Gospel style and lyrical content, and not a new song carved out in their signature raw rock delivery. For those who would like to discover this further, Feel free to study all the albums, you will see that the band have regularly possessed a style of rock infused with core influences of Blues, Soul, Funk, and Gospel.

With all hang-ups and musical preferences aside, the song should be embraced as a jubilant punch in the air of personal victory and hope, from coming out of difficult times; a theme that has historically always run through Gospel music. This song will surely become a crowd favourite in time to come. So as the lyrics state “How I got over, how I got over/my soul looks back and wonder how I got over”, can we get a witness and an Amen in here?

Reef’s forthcoming Single ‘How I Got Over’ and the Live Album ‘Live at St Ives’ is available to pre-order via and itunes. Both are released on 11th March 2016.

Comments (1)

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This sounds really interesting. Have to give it a spin.

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