Mick McConnell

Under My Skin

(Stuff Music)

Mick plays guitar in the current lineup of pop-rock band Smokie but steps out here on his own project featuring his guitar playing and singing. He comes across as a story-teller.

Holdin’ On has a moody slide intro then settles into a light-footed chugging blues rocker, Mick’s sandpaper voice to the fore. Warm Hammond rolls along in the backdrop and in a way it’s a tad early Faces in vibe. Man With A Smokin’ Gun is a fateful tale and again the band sound swings with backing vocals to suit. The lyric could be from a Rory Gallagher number and the bridge is cool, the guitar almost pinch-harmonic.

One McConnell characteristic already seems to be not to pile everything on at once but to use dynamics to maximum effect. No She Don’t..Like Country is full-blooded country rock at mid-pace in a Jason Aldean style. Mick’s diction is good so we hear every line; All My Soul is a lovely subtle bluesy song, the kind that Chris Rea can produce when in the mood and once again the backing vocal arrangement is spot on and colourful. The guitar runs are kept clean and fluid. Lock You Out nods to Southern Rock with fine bass playing.

Visiting Mr J cruises in on linear guitar and a poetic lyric with damped guitar figure running along behind and big-chord strokes overlay the sound. Moods On A Rainy Day brings in a light chorus’d guitar sound and an almost bossa beat. His voice sounds excellent here on a catchy song.

Cross The Line sets out mean and punchy and should immediately be referred to Mr D Coverdale! Under My Skin twists into earshot with delay and another story lyric. Spell On Me for me is too obvious a nod to Gary Moore – but every album seems to have one! Proper songs with ace vocal arrangements and NOT just expert guitar playing…

Pete Sargeant

(Thanks to Mick and Golly for help with this review)


Mick McConnell’s new studio album ‘Under My Skin’ is out now on Stuff Music.

For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2mYmk1x 

Mick McConnell