THE JERRY DOUGLAS BAND What If Rounder Records [Release date 18.08.17]

Jerry Douglas has played and appeared on over 1,600 albums, from artists such as Ray Charles, Paul Simon and Eric Clapton, plus he has been a member of Alison Kraus’s Union Station band since 1998.

On his latest album he adds more jazz to the usual bluegrass and blues playing he is most associated with. Opener ‘Cavebop’ is a re-recording of one of his older tunes and this time around is given added horns, to the overall jazzy feel. He does a sterling cover of Tom Waits’ ’2:19′ and vocally he reminds me of Ry Cooder.

You just have to hear the upbeat bluegrass adaptation of the Hendrix classic ‘Hey Joe’. The pace of the guitar picking, fiddles and drums is amazing. So much musical variety on here, with the playing on the Celtic feel on ‘Go Ahead And Leave’ another album high point.

Amazing playing and tunes, that’s all you really need from a album and worth it just to hear the playing and skills of Jerry Douglas and his band. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


QUIET RIOT Road Rage Frontiers [Release date 04.08.17]

Since Quiet Riot released their last album, 2014′s ’10′ vocalist Jizzy Pearl bid the ban farewell last year. He was replaced by Sean Nicholls (ex-Addler’s Appetite), yet he was gone in a month and current vocalist James Durbin joined. He has appeared on ‘American Idol’ and has a high octave vocal that’s for sure!

He joins sole original member drummer Frankie Banali, bassist Chuck Wright and guitarist Alex Grossi. Neil Citron is also worth noting, as he co-writes all of the music, mainly with Banali, with James Durbin penning all the lyrics.

The main problem with this album is it lacks good songs, plus the sound is poor, demo standard at best. Nothing is so terrible you skip it, but then no song – bar ‘Getaway’ and ‘Freak Flag’ – have you wanting you to hear them again.

Not a patch on the band’s glory days and the production sounds like demos lacking that final producer/engineer touch. Not bad, but a far way from essential and lacks any killer tunes.  Cool cover though… **1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


WORLD TRADE Unify Frontiers [Release date 04.08.17]

World Trade’s debut album was released way back in 1989 and we have had one more album since then, 1995′s ‘Euphoria’, after which the band split. Now they are back some twenty odd years later with their third album ‘Unify’.

The original line-up is involved, namely Billy Sherwood (Yes), Unruly Child’s Bruce Gowdy and Guy Allison, plus Mark T Williams. World Trade are one of those bands that can be too melodic/AOR for some prog fans and conversely too prog at times for lovers of melodic rock.

The debut is well worth owning, however this album doesn’t really set the old musical pulses racing. The vocals sound overproduced and the songs meld into one being of similar pace and musical style. That said, ‘Where We’re Going’ is a good piece of melodic prog rock. Sadly the title of ‘Same Old Song’ pretty much sums up the majority of the music on here. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

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Featured Albums w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MANDOKI SOULMATES Living In The Gap (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
12:00-13:00 MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL – We Are The Night (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BEN REEL The Nashville Calling (B.Reel Records)

Power Plays w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

ZENITH MOON Gypsy (Golden Robot Records)
RARITY Leave It Alone (New Damage Records)
THE RISING I Want You (indie)
MANDOKI SOULMATES Young Rebels (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
LA GUNS Well Oiled Machine (Golden Robot Records)

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