Album Releases Album Reviews

Supersonic Blues Machine – West of Flushing, South of Frisco Review

Released by: Mascot Label Group

Release date: 26th February 2016

Genre: Classic Rock/Blues Rock/Southern Rock

Links: supersonicblues.com , Facebook

 

Lineup:

Fabrizio Grossi – Bass

Lance Lopez – Guitar/Vocals

Kenny Aronoff – Drums

Also featuring:

Billy F. Gibbons

Warren Haynes

Chris Duarte

Eric Gales

Walter Trout

Robben Ford

 

Track Listing:

01. Miracle Man

02. I Ain’t fallin’ Again

03. Running Whiskey (Featuring Billy F. Gibson)

04. Remedy (Featuring Warren Haynes)

05. Bone Bucket Blues

06. Let it Be

07. That’s My Way (featuring Chris Duarte)

08. Aint No Love (In the heart of the city)

09. Nightmares and Dreams (Featuring Eric Gales)

10. Cant Take it No More (Featuring Walter Trout)

11. Whiskey Time (Running Whiskeys extended ending)

12. Let’s Call it A Day (featuring Robben Ford)

13. Watchagonnado

Initially, I grabbed this album for review interested to check out this “new” band Supersonic Blues Machine and see what they were made of. After the first listen I thought these guys don’t sound like a new band, they sound like an old band – no pun intended, too seasoned, too fluid and an all too familiar resonance.

The opener “Miracle Man” instantly had my absolute attention, starting off with a nice bit of slide guitar it then morphs into something that sounds like classic Allman Brothers, it’s upbeat and catchy with a distinct dual guitar sound throughout. Track two “I Ain’t Fallin’ Again” takes on a totally different direction. With no time warming up, it gets right into a funk type rhythmic groove, the vocals are strong but smooth and harmonise beautifully towards the end.

The third tune“Running Whiskey”stopped me in my tracks and I started to doubt not only my hearing but my sanity as I thought to myself if I didn’t know any better I would swear that was ZZ Top, I even asked for a second opinion on this fantastic song which really wouldn’t be at all out of place on a ZZ Tops’ greatest hits album, as of course, it is in fact Billy F. Gibbons himself!

“Nightmares and Dreams” featuring Eric Gales is performed in classic blues style, full on, intense guitar screams out at you from beginning to the abrupt end. I absolutely loved this track but couldn’t help wishing it had finished differently.

Featuring the fantastic Warren Haynes, “Remedy” has an enchanting guitar solo nearing its conclusion and finishes with a bit of slide which again mimics the distinct Allman Brothers sound and it’s at this point that I serious question what is going on in this album.

The incredible Walter Trouts’ aptitude materialises in “Can’t Take it Anymore”, a soulful blues classic played out to perfection and topped off by excellent backing vocals, I was tempted to play this on repeat several times.

The undeniable highlight for me on this release is the cover version and dare I say best version of Bobby ‘Blue’ Blands’ “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, better known by Whitesnake – and their rendition is hard to beat, the vocals are more in keeping with the original but the guitar is utterly spell binding, the talent here is impossible to ignore.

“Let’s call it a day” was the disappointment here. Featuring Robben Ford, the guitar is stunning but it is lyrically poor and the whole feel of it is just too sombre for me and not even in an engaging, emotive way. The album still ends on a positive vibe with “Watchagonnado”. The backing vocals here assist in producing a sound similar to gospel, it is a feel good track with the desired effect.

Ignorance, whilst being bliss can also be perplexing and I listened to this album at least three times – as I do, eager for my opinion not to be jaded before checking out any background info regarding the production. Marketed as a debut, I mistakenly anticipated listening to some unknown performers, new to the scene. Wrong. What we have here are a host of veteran musicians of the highest calibre collaborating with the core band of Fabrizio Grossi, Lance Lopez and Kenny Arronoff, also well established and hugely talented, if perhaps not as well known.

Can’t say there is anything truly original here as there is no escaping the distinct melodies with which these musicians have become associated as their careers were forged. Having said that, the amount of musical expertise on offer makes this release a versatile, collaborative melting pot which is nothing short of genius. A pleasure to listen to, featuring some absolute gems, its definitely one for the collection.

 

Written by: Karen Hetherington

 

Ratings: Karen 9/10

 

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