Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Black Country Communion return with their third studio offering ‘Afterglow’, another blistering blues and soul infused rock album. No drawn out improvisations here, just solid and instantly 'catchy' songs ('Midnight Sun', ‘Big Train’, 'Confessor' and 'The Circle' being prime examples) featuring great playing from musical masters Bonamassa/Bonham/Sherinian, an excellent production job courtesy of Kevin Shirley and sublime 'Purplesque' lead vocals from ‘The Voice of Rock’ Glenn Hughes. The epic title track features an understated Led Zep intro before taking off in a totally different direction allowing guitar god Joe Bonamassa to launch into a spectacular solo. Perhaps the real uniqueness of BCC is the seamless way they transcend the notion of rock sub-genres delivering a clearly defined classic rock sound that is both organic and original!

Christopher Franklin

Monday, 22 October 2012


Every once in a while guitar virtuoso Neal Schon takes a major detour from his main day job as Journey's lead guitarist to indulge in a different side of his creativity. His seventh solo offering 'The Calling' sees him re-united with former Journey partner-in-rhyme Steve Smith who lends his drumming artistry to all 12 instrumentals. The tittle track is a beautifully crafted collage of well executed musical muscle, whilst the monstrous back-drop of 'Back Smash' is reminiscent of a modern day Led Zeppelin, embossed with the tenacity and flair of a well seasoned guitar ace. Neal 'personally' and powerfully exemplifies his technical versatility in the emotional 'Blue Rainbow Sky' (a tribute to the late great Ronnie James Dio) a charismatic cauldron of stylistic and heart-felt melodic guitar hooks. Nothing short of a six string symphony!

Jonathan Crampton

Monday, 15 October 2012


Regarded as one of the finest guitarists on planet rock Paul Gilbert is at it again with his latest solo effort 'Vibrato'. As a pioneering member of both Racer X and Mr. Big a musician of such high caliber could well be forgiven for resting on his laurels but has consistently delivered the goods due to a tremendous work ethic. Opening cut 'Enemies' sets the standard, in a blend of blistering blues and red hot rock embellished with jazzy overtones. The mind expansive 'Atmosphere On The Moon' demonstrates the 'Big man's vocal talents, as well as allowing space for his keyboard playing wife Emi and master sticksman Thomas Lang to flex their expertise. Mr. Gilbert's ability to throw conventional musical concepts out of the window is an apparent theme on an album which effortlessly fuses rock, funk, and blues into a cohesive collection of pure artistry!

Jonathan Crampton