MelodicRock Records [Release date 14.09.18]
Former Kiss Of The Gypsy vocalist Tony Mitchell returns with a new solo album, which has a few songs similar to the enjoyable Dirty White Boyz album released early last year (that band are planning a follow-up albeit under a new band name).
Tony Mitchell produced the album as well as playing guitars, bass and keyboards, plus he has a few guest guitarists to help out including Demon’s Paul Hume and Dante Fox’s Tim Manford.
His aim on the album was “I wanted a barrage of songs that would get into the ears of those who like melodic rock with powerful guitars, huge harmonies & memorable hooks.” Does he achieve this? I’d say so and then some!
Opener ‘Playing With Fire’ sets the musical stall out early, featuring heavy guitar riffs, keys and the melodic rasp of Tony Mitchell’s singing. ‘Never Say Die’ is a big anthem reminiscent of Dare and FM, a proper fist pumping anthem. Like the majority of the songs on the album the keyboards are high in the mix which you need for hook filled melodic rock like this.
Dante Fox’s Sue Willetts guests on ‘What You Make It’, another top notch melodic rock tune. The slower songs like ‘Someone Like You’ work equally as well, with this one featuring a sax solo from Daniel Sings and it tips a musical hat to 80′s rock ballads.
‘Take A Look At Me Now’ is one of those wonderful big production songs that the likes of Supertramp, Queen and John Miles did so well back in the day and latterly bands like Cats In Space do. Guitars mix with tinkling keys and harmony vocals overload, a great listen.
If you are quick this album comes as a limited edition double CD adding Tony’s 2011 solo album ’Far Away From Home’. Melodic hard rock to crank up and enjoy! ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
We asked Tony a few questions about the album, Stealer’s Wheel and his time with Kiss Of The Gypsy…
Dante Fox’s Sue Willets guests on ‘What You Make it’. How did she become involved in the song?
I had a clear picture of how I wanted the album to sound & flow, however, one dynamic that I thought it lacked, was a duet.
I have always loved Sue’s voice & thought it would dovetail perfectly with mine, given the right song.
I had been working on a particular idea that I had just written for this so I spoke to her about singing a duet with me. She said that she would love to, so I sent her the track, highlighting each other’s parts.
I asked Tim to play the solo for it too as he has the perfect melodic rock style of playing, to which, he nailed.
Because of where Sue/Tim & I are based & time deadline, I decided to book Sue & Tim into a studio near their location & have them send over the isolated stem tracks.
Once I blended Sue’s vocals into the mix with mine, there was a real magic happening.
I couldn’t have wished for a better outcome for “What you Make it”.
How did you hook up with Andrew McNiece and his MelodicRock Records?
I have never met Andrew but he’s a top guy & we have kept in touch via messenger & emails for about 3 years now.
I first spoke with Andrew just before the making of the Dirty White Boyz album, “Down & Dirty” as it was originally going to be a solo album.
Andrew always said to me that if I ever considered releasing a new solo album, he would like to release it on MRR.
I kept him updated on the progress of the writing & recording of the Beggars Gold album & it grew from there, we have a great working relationship.
The Dirty White Boyz album was an enjoyable album of melodic hard rock. There are plans for a follow-up, however this will be under another band name and will the same band members be involved?
It was a great honor to record & play live with Neil, Nigel, Paul & Jamie. They are such a great bunch of guys, not only fantastic vocalists & musicians but really genuine people.
It was a shame that we couldn’t commit to more live shows but because of all of our individual schedules, it proved very difficult.
I have various ongoing projects that I am still working on but have kept in touch with the DWBz guys & hopefully will get together with a view to release another album under a different name but same line up.
What were the highlights for you in Kiss Of The Gypsy?
It was a massive highlight when we landed a major deal with Atlantic records but the main highlights were the live shows & the reviews that we had recieved.
A lot of things conspired against us in 1991/92 but we just carried on doing what we do best, playing live.
Was a second album ever finished and if so, could it be released at some point, given that many ‘lost’ albums by bands have been released in recent times?
We had recorded some demos with KOTG but was a weird time for, us as the “Grunge” movement to shape & bands like us were classed as outdated.
I refused to conform to write in that particular style and so ended that chapter of music for us.
You were involved in a brief reunion of Stealer’s Wheel back in 2008. Were any new songs ever recorded and why did the reunion not last?
In 2009, the existing members of Stealers Wheel asked me to join them as a producer & session musician.
They asked me to re-record some of their hits with them & a few years later, I started writing an album for them.
In 2011, I finished writing the album of originals & recorded it with them.
The album is still there to be released & waiting for the right deal to come along.
Message for your fans and anything else to add…
I just want say a huge thank you to all my fans & followers, new & old, who have stayed with me on this journey.
I hope you carry on keeping the faith & there is a hell of a lot more left in the tank yet !
Keep the rock flag, my Hard Rockin’ Amigos …
In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 10 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.
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