Released by: Provogue Records
Release date: 29th July 2016
Gary Hoey – Guitars/Vocals
AJ Pappas – Bass
Matt Scurfield – Drums
1. Boxcar Blues
2. Who’s Your Daddy
3. Born to Love You
4. Dust & Bones
5. Steamroller (Tribute to Johnny Winter)
6. Coming Home (Featuring Lita Ford)
7. Ghost of Yesterday
8. This Time Tomorrow
9. Back up Against the Wall
10. Blind Faith
11. Soul Surfer
I have to confess, it’s not too often these days that a new album from a long established artist gets under my skin but when certain songs stop you in your tracks the very first time you hear them, you know you’re onto something great and you’ve got to sit up and take notice. Dust & Bones, the 20th album from guitarist Gary Hoey does just that.
This release kicks off with “Boxcar Blues” featuring fantastic slide guitar and vocals reminiscent of classic old school blues from yesteryear. Cue drums and the tempo changes morphing this track into a more upbeat, modern take on the blues. The transition is perfect and my high hopes for this album were firmly established after this opening track.
Up next “Who’s Your Daddy” continues with the traditional sound but is notably faster in pace incorporating a jazz/blues fusion throughout with an amazing guitar frenzy at just over the halfway mark.
One of the undoubted highlights on this album is the title track “Dust & Bones”. This is a poignant rock song that ticks all the boxes for me. The lyrics are profound, the melodies haunting. The guitar, which is gentle at the start, meticulously works its way up to something mind blowing as bass and percussion get increasingly heavier throughout. It’s an absolute classic that I couldn’t stop playing.
Steamroller (Tribute to Johnny Winter) commences with a bit of consistent isolated drumming from the very talented Matt Scurfield before the slide guitar breaks in once more. Another traditional style blues track which pays fitting tribute to the late Johnny Winter.
Duet “Coming Home” featuring Lita Ford is a ballad with a bit of a country resonance to it. Lita edges in about a third of the way into the track and the two voices complement each other perfectly. This song has a slower more sombre feel to it and gives a midway break to the generally upbeat fast pace of the album. The momentum is quickly picked up again though, in the rock song “Ghost of Yesterday”.
“This Time Tomorrow” is another track which made an immediate and lasting impression on me. A soulful rock/blues ballad featuring gentle vocals and guitar which pick up strength on and off throughout, this is a powerful, evocative song that you can really feel.
“Back up Against the Wall” is a classic blues medley featuring amazing guitar and a repetitive bass groove supplied by AJ Pappas who completes the rhythm section on this album, while “Blind Faith” is another welcome switch back to slide. It features simple lyrics characteristic of blues style and really is all about the guitar.
Instrumental “Soul Surfer” is the perfect finisher to this album. No lyrics required as the guitar is doing the talking and I love what it is saying…
Dust & Bones is an eclectic album with sounds ranging from old to new and spanning different musical genres allowing Gary Hoey to showcase his talent and versatility as a guitarist and he has pulled it off to perfection…
Review: Karen Hetherington