Reviews roundup – Snowy White ~ Circuline ~ Mojo Blizzard ~ Friends & Legends of Louisiana

Something On Me

Snowy White / Soulfood Music

Snowy White found a sound he liked several decades ago and damn it, he’s going to stick to it. Luckily for me, it was a sound I liked in 1985 and I haven’t changed my opinion.

So what you’re getting is fairly laid back, soft blues rock with a few proggy guitar parts and spoken vocal style. If that sounds like your thing then good for you. You took your time. For those who don’t know who Snowy White is, well he’s the fella who joined Thin Lizzy at the height of their drug abuse but who managed to play some excellent guitar and keep his sanity. He also spent years in Pink Floyds touring band and after they split, Roger Waters solo band. Oh and he played on a Peter Green album as well.

Which means he knows his way around a guitar and if you’re in the market for something moody then ‘Something On Me’ could very well be for you. It’s very much in the Chris Rea / Mark Knopfler school of music and fans of either of them will find a lot to enjoy here. If you’re looking for actual blues then give “I Wish I Could” a go, which is close as he gets to traditional blues rock.

Elsewhere he puts his prog leanings to good use with some fabulous guitar work on the title track and “Commercial Suicide”, the latter being my favourite on the album. It’s a close run thing though as there is some delightful music here with the wee small hours feel of “Another Blue Night” running it a close second.

Anyone who has enjoyed his previous solo albums will find themselves very happy here. A good one.

New View

Inner Nova Music

It’s time to jump in our time machine and travel back to ProgStock in 2017. Because that’s where this live CD/DVD from American progsters Circuline was recorded.

They do that modern prog thing that brings in the Porcupine Tree fans and there is nothing wrong with that. I remember enjoying their 2016 release ‘Counterpoint’ and with this performance coming the following year that means there is room for my two favourites of that release – “Forbidden Planet” and “Hollow”.

After a couple of brief intro pieces they arrive at the meat of the piece with “One Wish” the first proper tune. It’s well recorded but my ears could have done with the vocals being pushed slightly back in the mix. When the instruments do get to flourish then you’re in for some treats especially when they go off piste and get their prog jam on. Going back to the vocals I must admit that when Natalie Brown and Billy Spillane harmonise it really lifts things. And I have to tip my hat to guitarist Alek Darson who really lets fly on more than occasion.

Over on the DVD, well it’s all about the music, man. They’re not a showy band and they’re playing on a small festival stage. So not a lot to see. I much preferred the CD but they’ve really gone all out on this release as it’s a triple pack of CD/ DVD and BluRay. Which is a very prog thing to do. Of the songs I hadn’t heard before, “Nautilus” was a real eye opener as it heads down the rabbit hole of experimental seventies prog. Loved it. Be aware, though, as this is live prog there are solo spots and a cover of a Sound of Contact song.

It’s only a couple of years since their last live CD / DVD but anyone who lapped that up will take to this even if a large chunk of that set appears here as well.

Circuline Music

Lost In Space II

Bluebird Records

To Germania! For some stoner rock! From a band of beardies!

Of course, first things first. Don’t call your debut album ‘Lost In Space II’. After I gave this its first spin I was all set up to go and track down ‘Lost In Space I’. Then I read the press release. Bastards.

As you would expect they’re not a cheery bunch. Certainly not if the lyrics are anything to go by. But would you want it any other way over there in stonerland? Course not. Miserable sods the lot of you. Mojo Blizzard (which is a great name by the way) generally steer clear of the sludgier side of stoner and rock surprising hard. The only track that didn’t really work for me was the opening “Mojo Blizzard” but by the time “All Troubles Down” finished they’d won me over with half a record to go. Result!

They nod their heads in the general direction of all the names you would expect – Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Clutch and their ilk – but a lot of the riffs have a very metallic edge which appeals to the old metalhead in me. They also find room for a few doomy moments which work really well. The half hour or so flashes by and it’s all the better for it as they leave you gantin’ for more.

self titled

L&M Star Productions

This is the brainchild of songwriter Lucas Spinosa who wrote or co-wrote all the tunes here as well as producing and playing piano and organ. I’m guessing he’s not a singer which is why he’s went round and gathered together a who’s who of Louisiana rhythm and blues to help bring his creation to life.

The songs themselves run the gamut of blues, jazz and soul with some swamp rock thrown in for good measure. But as well as an array of great singers he’s also put together a tremendous band with an on fire horn section really shining. The opening “Beale Street Blues” sees saxophonist Jason Parfait really shining on vocals. Wayne Toups also puts in a great turn on “Belly of The Beast” which also sees Sonny Landreth popping up on guitar.

Kenny Neal takes things down way low on “Southern Side of Life” but my absolute favourite is “Red Tail Lights On A Blues Highway” sung by Chris LeBlanc. It’s very early Robert Cray Band in tone and a real treat.

But this is one of those records with no duff tracks. As well as serving as a showcase for the songs of Mr Spinosa it also highlights some great vocals that you’ll want to hear more from. A job well done.

St Columba’s Hospice Tribute Fund for Linda Hamilton

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