Bernard discovers the new one from experienced blueser
When this one arrived in my Inbox for review my first though was ‘Gary Hoey? Never heard of him’. However it was a Mascot release and that immediately got my attention as they seem to act as a good filter for me. My rule of thumb is that if they have released it, then I will like it.
The first thing I did was to research Gary Hoey and he’s got quite a track record. Not only did he audition for Ozzy Osbourne (Zakk Wylde got the job, so no shame there) but he also had a Top 5 hit in the 90’s with a cover of ‘Hocus Pocus’. He’s also toured in support of and/or played with all sorts of names from Brain May to Jeff Beck.
Now 55, his last album in 2013 (Deja Blues), was his first attempt at a true blues album and this release is in the same vain. It covers all sorts of blues styles featuring his Stratocaster playing and there is even a power ballad with Lita Ford on shared vocals. Other musicians in the power trio line-up are Matt Scurfield on drums and AJ Pappas on bass. They do a fine job in anchoring the songs, leaving the space for Hoey’s guitar fireworks.
All the songs on this 11 track collection are good. The album kicks off with ‘Box Car Blues’, a slide guitar driven rocker that would grace any Joe Bonamassa record. ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ is a gentler blues shuffle which leads into ‘Born To Love You’ – this is a great song and sounds like Billy Gibbons is an obvious influence. Lead song off the album is ‘Dust & Bones’ and this should be on rock radio everywhere if the Band’s publicist is good at their job; it’s a great song, still heavy but commercial at the same time. ‘Steam Roller’ is listed as a Johnny Winter tribute and I can’t think of a better description for it. The afore mentioned power ballad, ‘Coming Home’, is actually very good and features some of the best guitar work on the entire record. This leads into ‘Ghost Of Yesterday’ and I think this is another terrific song that could do well as a single. An up-tempo number with a catchy chorus and capped with a lengthy solo. ‘This Time Tomorrow’, ‘Back Against The Wall’ and ‘Blind Faith’ are all good but with three entirely different styles. These lead to album closer ‘Soul Surfer’. It’s is the only instrumental on the album and it’s a nice way to finish.
This is an album that will appeal to all blues rock fans and if the album is anything to go by, then his live show, if it makes it over here, will be very loud and very good.