Dust & Bones
(Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)
Apparently influenced by the likes of Johnny Winter, Zep, Robin Trower and Robert Johnson this Strat-wielding musician presents his 20th album release with Dust & Bones. Here he is going for a big sound, he says. Enlisting drummer Matt Scurfield and bassist Al Pappas, Hoey plugs in and kicks off his new collection…
Lead cut ‘Boxcar Blues’ starts with old timey slide and distorted vocal for a dusty railway track vibe before a Zep style band groove whacks in, his voice has a nice grainy quality. Then ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ rocks out in Stray Cats vein, you can just see the long skirts and pointed shoes whereas a choppy wah brings the driving ‘Born To Love You’ to your ears with definite Z Z echoes in there and emphatic drumming.
‘Dust & Bones’ the title cut has a flanged arpeggio guitar as its heart, with liquid lead overdubbed. Maybe the best song here, it has atmosphere and is curiously catchy;
‘Steamroller’ is a stomping nod to vintage Johnny Winter with plenty of slide curls and dives.
‘Coming Home’ is much more reflective and features the lovely Lita Ford over tremelo’d guitar. I favour duets as they add variety to albums, this one works and her voice is beguiling. ‘Ghost of Yesterday’ is riff-driven and reminds me of Chris Duarte, master of this style. ‘This Time Tomorrow’ has a devastated tread and effective guitar, sounds like a good performance choice. Easily the best vocal on the record, too and cool ascending chord run.
‘Back Up Against The Wall’ takes the shuffle route, thankfully not overdone on this collection. This is very meat & potatoes blues rock, with a touch of Hammond here and there; more slide on ‘Blind Faith’ which sounds more Winter than the intended track, funnily enough! The set closes with ‘Soul Surfer’ has a funky tempo and measured coast-evoking guitar, the vibrato bar coming in here and there
A competent trio album with exemplary slide, sturdy vocals, neat ensemble playing. But it’s that Bryan Adams-tinged title cut that attracts most.
Gary Hoey’s new studio album ‘Dust & Bones’ is out now on Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group.
For tour dates and more info you could do worse than hop over to www.garyhoey.com
(Many thanks to Lee at Mascot Label Group for help with this review)