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Sterling Ball, John Ferraro & Jim Cox present: THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY

Sterling Ball, John Ferraro & Jim Cox present:

THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY

Genre:  BLUES/SOUL/COUNTRY

Released by: MASCOT RECORDS

Release date: 19th January 2018

Featuring:

Steve Lukather (Toto)

Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Kansas)

John Petrucci (Dream Theater)

Albert Lee

Jay Grayson

Steve Vai

Tracklist:

  1. Payday Song
  2. The In Crowd (feat. Steve Morse)
  3. Checkin’ Up On My Baby
  4. Baby Please Don’t Go (feat. Steve Lukather)
  5. Treat Her Right
  6. Sugar Shack (feat. Steve Vai)
  7. Memphis A/K/A Memphis, Tennessee
  8. Cryin’ Time (feat. Albert Lee)
  9. I Want You Back
  10. Disney Medley (feat. John Petrucci)
  11. Hey Good Looking (feat. Albert Lee)
  12. Strip Mall Gourmet (feat. Jay Graydon)
  13. Heartbroke

I confess I was more than a little excited when this little number dropped through my letterbox, after all when you see guest artists such as Steve Morse, Albert Lee and Steve Vai listed together on one release its got to be something monumental right? 

I was not immediately aware that this was a purely instrumental offering but my suspicion grew towards the end of the second track when still not a word had been uttered.  Still, instrumental is good with me, perfect material for a sunny afternoon drive.

This album gets off to an amazing start with “Payday Song” which blends perfectly into “The In Crowd” featuring the fantastic Steve Morse. 

The absolute highlight for me was Delta Blues classic “Baby Please Don’t Go”, made famous by Muddy Waters in the 50’s and Van Morrison’s band ‘Them’ in the 60’s. This one has definitely stood the test of time and is noted as one of the most played, arranged and rearranged songs in the history of The Blues.  As versions go, this one, featuring Steve Lukather of Toto fame is exceptional.

Soul classic ‘Treat her Right’ also gets the 5 star treatment here although its sounding slightly tamer than the last version of it I heard (perhaps it’s the omission of a high powered set of lungs?)

Admittedly the light hearted ‘electro pop’ edge of “Sugar Shack” featuring Steve Vai threw me slightly, it sounded so misplaced on this album considering what had come before and straight up next was “Memphis A/K/A Memphis, Tennessee” and this sound is pure country morphing into some blues in its concluding stages but unfortunately not enough blues for me to cast my vote in its favour.

“Cryin’ Time” featuring the legend that IS Albert Lee is another doleful country track that just makes me want to pass it by.

By the time I reached “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 and “Hey Good Looking” my initial excitement and early positive opinion of this album were greatly evaporating – these two songs in particular, were, in my opinion, bad enough the first time around.

In principle, I love the idea of this album, rearrangement of some classic tracks, instrumental, musically exquisite and featuring a whole host of some of the most successful and remarkably talented artists ever.  It started off beautifully, but unfortunately, what is gained in musical ability is lost in choice of material and I can’t help thinking it had so much more potential…

SCORE : 7/10

REVIEWED BY: KAREN HETHERINGTON

 

 

 

 

 

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