Reviews roundup – Blues Image vs. Jerry Harmon vs. Morningstar vs. M W Wild vs. Two Timer
BLUES IMAGE feat Mike Pinera
Mike Pinera has been around a bit. From Blues Image who had a big US hit in 1970 with ‘Ride Captain Ride’ into Iron Butterfly post In A Gadda to New Cactus, a reincarnation of Cactus and playing guitar with Alice Cooper during the latters “interesting” years in the early eighties as well as a sporadic solo career which did yield a Hot 100 hit in 1978.
Fast forward several decades and he’s put a new Blues Image together to revisit some blasts from his past as well as some new songs. And it’s very enjoyable. As well as a return to “Ride Captain Ride” and “In A Gadda Da Vida” (which he didn’t actually appear on) there are some real gems from his past which are well worth hearing again.
The absolute highlight is “Fantasy Of Love” from one of his nineties solo albums which is a Latin tinged feast. The title track from his album ‘Isla’ runs it a close second though. He’s also pulled in some rock and roll pals with Pat Travers playing guitar on “Pay My Dues” and “Butterfly Bleu” with Jonathan Cain from Journey popping up on “Love Is The Answer” and “Something To Say”.
Its a well crafted album of melodic rock which will hopefully bring his name back into the light.
It’s only a couple of weeks since I heard the title track from this record which was released as a single. I enjoyed his gruff, lived in voice and classic country music sounds.
To reiterate he has performed with Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Earl Scruggs and a host of others as well as travelling across the globe with his old school sound. And the Grammy nominated singer/songwriter certainly knows how to conjure up a good tune.
It’s proper old school country which will appeal to those of us tired of pop tunes with a grafted on steel guitar waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in the background and on the top songs here Mr Harmon makes a strong case to be on your buy list. Numbers like “Walking To Cleveland”, “Man I Used To Be” and “Love In The House” are just straight up great songs which take you back to a time when country was country.
It’s my kind of thing but then I’m an old man. Hopefully there are enough of us left to help take this places.
To Austin Texas now to catch up with southern rock tinged band, Morningstar.
They’re actually a bar band who perform a mixture of originals and covers across the Texas bar scene and that’s reflected in this album of their own material. Because it touches on southern rock, classic seventies rock, country, blues and all points inbetween.
Which is what you need to be able to do to keep a beered up crowd happy on a Saturday night. The band themselves are all good musicians, topped off with the vocals of Tasmin Morningstar (probably not her real name) and it’s a solid reflection of what they must be like live on stage.
Songs like “Wear And Tear”, “Made to Break” and “Right Place, Right Time” hit all the right notes even if not everything is straight out of the top drawer. It will make for a great souvenir if you catch them live although the rest of you may want to try before you buy.
M W WILD
The Third Decade
Blimey! Some proper goth rock here. Turns out that MW Wild used to be in a goth band called The Cascades who released four album in the early part of the twenty first century. They were well regarded on the scene without ever breaking out.
Fast forwaed eleven years from their last album and here is the first solo album from their mainman. It’s taken a while to arrive but I can assure any old school goth fans out there that they will find it to be well worth the wait.
You see, this is goth the way it used to be done. When Andrew Eldritch was a the top of his game. When shops would sell out of self raising flour every time a goth band hit town. It’s really ratehr good. It’s melodic, rich with nuance and darl. Songs like “Marionette”, “Writing On The Wall” and “Fly WIth Angels” would have went down a storm in a goth club back in the day.
So if you’ve been sitting on a bench in Whitby wishing and a hoping that someone would make a goth album to be your new best friend, then this is it.
The Big Ass Beer To Go
Vision Project Records
Want some Polish blues rock? Of course you do. Then who better to be listening to than Two Timer with their delightfully entitles ‘The Big Ass Beer To Go’ recording.
It’s straight down the middle modern blues rock which doesn’t go much further back than SRV and no further forward than Joe Bonamassa but if that is your thing then they make a mighty fine racket.
They’ve brought some good songs along for the ride as well as whole pile of enthusiasm and when they hit a groove as they do “Some New Boogie, Right”, then they really do bring it on home. They appear to have a decent sense of humour as represented on “Stick To C” but they can turn their hands to the dark side as well with the tale of “William Stanley Milligan “.
If they were in the USA their rockin’ the blues sound would go down a storm at a blues club or on a festival stage, so if you feel like expanding your blues horizons just a wee bit, then give this a listen.