Lee pulls out his acoustic guitar for the simple blues of “Blues Got Me So Sad,” the country folk of “Walk On, Walk Tall,” and the luscious Mexicali instrumental, “Song of the Red Rock Mountain.” The latter was a melody Lee improvised while testing a microphone and could never improve. He goes international as well for the African-drum driven “Listen to Your Radio Station,” which includes a sampled loop from the late drummer Ian Wallace.
Lee lets his band stretch out a bit for “Down Line Rock,” an instrumental jam with nods to Booker T. and the M.G.'s. Organist Hinkley also shines on “Midnight Creeper” with an ironic, seductive gospel feel. The set winds up with “Love Like a Man 2," a remake of the Ten Years After hit with a completely new arrangement. According to the liner notes, Lee claimed the new version was inspired by Chuck Berry and New Orleans R&B player Smiley Lewis’ “I Hear You Knocking.”
Recorded at Space Studios 3 in Spain, not all of Lee’s compositions are top drawer material. “Walk On, Walk Tall,” in particular, is a series of cobbled together clichés that almost signal this song was intended to be a parody. However, the overall feel of Still on the Road to Freedom is that of an artist who wants to share the best of what he’s loved in music since his childhood. But Lee’s distinctive style and voice also fill this project with original touches that make this album far more than a reworking of basic blues, folk, country, and rock. Considering that Lee hails from Nottingham, England, it’s interesting just how much Americana is in his creative well. Most importantly, Lee left Ten Years After in order to have musical freedom, and that’s the freedom he’s talking about in the title. Isn’t that what the better music of the ‘60s was all about?