HENRIC BLOMQVIST & FRIENDS All Of Your Illusions
www.henricblomqvist.com [Released 01.05.14]
Guitarist Henric Blomqvist hails from Finland and has worked with various bands and musicians over the years. This album is his debut solo release and the friends include vocalists Doogie White (MSG/Rainbow) and Jari Tiura (ex-MSG). These two vocalists past and present bands give you some idea of the music on the album as opener ‘Place Of Fear’ sounds like prime time Rainbow (complete with a tasty piece of Hammond playing). ‘Lonely As I Am’ which features Doogie White on vocals could be an MSG tune.
Blomqvist’s playing is of a high standard as you’d expect and the two instrumentals allow him chance to show off his talents fully. The lyrics can get a little too Dungeons and Dragons at times which can detract a little.
Good, enjoyable, solid classic hard rock and not many artists are doing this sort of music nowadays, mores the pity. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
DYLAN KAY Intentions Of A Man (indie) www.dylankay.com
Promo arrives on reviewer’s desk with little biographical information, a poor press release, and “lo-fi” packaging. It doesn’t look promising. But unfortunately it’s not untypical these days and that often goes with a below-par musical offering. In this case it could be that Dylan Kay is selling himself short. Even his website is poor.
For a self-production, where he plays all instruments, this is a remarkably good debut. Evidently influenced by the post-Grunge vibe (Alice In Chains et al), with nine short tracks this is essentially a “mini-album” but a fantastic introduction to his work nevertheless. Nothing outstays its welcome here, but Kay leaves you wanting the next course which can’t be a bad thing.
This also bucks the modern trend for home spun and mediocre production: recording information is sparse but it sounds fantastic. Do investigate two of the best tracks that can be streamed on the otherwise moribund website. ****
Review by David Randall
MICHAEL STANLEY The Job
www.michaelstanley.com [Released 01.08.14]
Michael Stanley is back with another fine album of music that touches on country/Americana and the mid-paced rock of Bob Seger. In fact safe to say if you enjoy Bob Seger’s music you will enjoy this album and Michael Stanley’s earlier albums.
Like the aforementioned Seger, Michael Stanley uses female back-up singers to great effect. Jennifer Lee provides the perfect foil for Stanley’s vocals and they really work well on the ballad ‘You Never Just Know’. Special mention too of Ed Caner’s violin playing which livens up ‘Survive & Advance’, a toe tapping country rocker. Along with the title track and ‘Unfinished Business’ (check out the soaring guitar solo on this one, great playing), they are the stand out songs on an enjoyable album.
Michael Stanley is very good at what he does and it is a shame he is not more well known, certainly outside of the US. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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