The fabulous Texan guitarist Eric Johnson teams up with fellow guitarist Mike Stern, who was once in famed out fit Blood Sweat and Tears to deliver an album of contemporary jazz rock fusion. Heavy on the instrumental and lots of sweet melodic solo’s, jazz licks that is very easy to listen too.
These guys can play guitar. Johnson started playing psychedelic rock and then moved to a band called the Electromagnets. He is renowned as being a perfectionist guitarist and has played in the seventies and eighties with Carole King, Christopher Cross, and in the last decade tours as G3 with fellow maestro’s Steve Vail and Joe Satriani. Stern is a jazz guitarist and after a couple of years with Blood Sweat & Tears, played with Miles Davis as well as recording solo records and winning Grammy awards.
Not well known outside the states, Johnson has a guitar hero cult following and has played on lots of songs and albums for others. This album also features a blues tune with lots of riffs and solo’s. Red House, one of the few vocal tracks is probably my instant favourite. They both lay into some call and response blues solo’s and its one of those sit back and soak in it blues songs.
The opening track Roll With It is also a punchy number and the slow it right down to an almost psychedelic dirge almost with Big Foot. Other notable examples are Dry Ice and Benny Man’s Blues which is a light punchy number laced with melody.
A pleasant album to play if not wanting to bang, thump, but sit an read the paper or a book. A crisp, clear, note perfect album from two very fine musicians.
John Paul Keith is a musician who enjoys doing it steing in and also having some fun as well!
This week a little gem uncovered by my good self entitled “The Man That Time Forgot” by John Paul Keith. He could be called “three dads” with all those first names in a row!
This is a fine album by a xontemporary white boy blues rocker.
This week’s album you wouldn’t normally listen too is by Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The album is called “Trouble is…”. It was a team selection by the other crew!
Shakin' the Cage - Zoo
Sometimes you wonder what artists from different countries and cultures, and a varied journey in rock and roll will come up with when they join forces or find themselves in ‘side’ projects or ‘solo’ projects.
This is an album that definitely flies under the radar. In 1990 the late Billy Thorpe, iconic rock guitarist from Australia gave up his non music business ventures to team up with a master of the skins, the enduring Mick Fleetwood to form Zoo. Thorpe composed or was involved in the composing of all the songs on the Shakin’ the Cage album. It was a period in which Mick was engaging in several side projects after Fleetwood Mac’s flame had all but fluttered out.
The album itself is a good rock album with some slower ballad type and a few harder rockers. A modern day album that is similar in its make up would be Black Country Communion, although in the later, the guitar maestro Bonamassa is more pronounced. Thorpe was a great rock guitarist, and playing live he could cut loose and often did. More frontal assault that subtle solo’s. Its a charismatic guitar that is a little infective.
Fleetwoods drumming is a definitive constant tying it all together. Certainly a rock album with a terrific pedigree and very enjoyable to listen too. A gem in a way, as they did tour, put out an album, shelved plans for more work which is a pity as this was a great starting point, and leaves one yearning for the follow up.
A side project band that featured to legends from accross the Pacific in Billy Thorpe from Australia and Mick Fleetwood the expatriate Englishmen ensconsced in Los Angeles.
A rare album that is a treat as well.