Tell The Truth
(Provogue/Mascot Label Group)
As we reported in our album review, Lopez’s sterling vocals helped the last Supersonic Blues Machine reach the heights it did. Now comes this new album from Lance. It’s a studio effort, I am pretty sure the last one of his that came my way was a live set. Lopez seems to aim most of the time at a summit meeting of pure soul and rock power. He doesn’t lack confidence, so manages to pull this off. As with all very competent singers and players, it’s down to the quality of the songs to make a new release special and worthy of repeat play. Or not. At which point we press ‘play’…
Lead cut Never Came Easy To Me heads out on an acoustic vamp with a gritty vocal. At @ 00.45 the full band sound arrives, rocking electric piano in the mix, then throaty harp, all over pounding bass and pattering drums. Then Lance is off on a greasy slide solo before the harp starts testifying. The recording quality is clear and punchy.
Mr Lucky is the John Lee Hooker number, given a roadhouse lope with thunderous bassline. A real strutting Texas sound, vibrant and surefooted, sharp stops and all.
Down To One Bar is up next and based on a dirty stomping beat, again the vocal soulful and growly. The backing vocals sound ace. The Hammond enriches the ensemble sound. On to High Life which has a funky Southern Rock sway, almost Stonesy. A strong tune, here. Cash My Check is if anything even more Keef with its slashing chords. A catchy chorus makes it impossible not to sing along.
The Real Deal gives us more keening, pleading slide and maybe the best vocal on the collection, really forceful and still tuneful. Raise Some Hell has folky, confessional elements. The drummer is really in control on this one, playing with authority and no wasted beats. Angel Eyes Of Blue brings the throat-pipe guitar to the fore, the rhythm section dancing on the spot. The guitar solo is a cloudscraper, here. Back On The Highway delivers a fat but brisk group sound and more slide.
Blue Moon Rising is a more Hendrixy moment with overlaid topline guitar here and there, The title track Tell The Truth is weighty, fuzz axe upfront and a sturdy beat.
No great surprises or tangents here, but Lopez has mastery of his instrument and a superior vocal approach, allied to some lively down-to-earth songs all delivered with feel and conviction. A good addition to his canon.
(Thanks to the Mascot crew)
Lance Lopez’s new album ‘Tell The Truth’ is released on Friday 2nd March 2018 on Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
You can watch the video for ‘Down To One Bar’ in this article.
In addition, Lance Lopez will be the special guest for Rockin’ The Blues at The Garage, London, United Kingdom on Saturday 17th March 2018. You can purchase tickets here: http://bit.ly/2CtoYDk
For more information visit his Facebook page here: http://bit.ly/2nh32BA