Supersonic Blues Machine
(Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)
This second SBM release consolidates their reputation as a recording outfit of great skill and versatility and the group has undoubtedly benefited from recent live forays. Totally at ease in the company of any musician, the trio put everyone’s contribution in a great dynamic setting and this means each track has its own atmosphere. No wonder that star artists queue to get into the studio with these chaps.
Let’s run through the tracks now –
I Am Done Missing You makes lively starter, all riffing and harp puffs before it slips into a roots reggae beat, with a strong vocal. Somebody’s Fool has the great Robben Ford aboard for a meaty workout, all backbeat and throbbing bass. It is absurdly catchy, peppered with slide squeals. Could be a lost Bad Company number. At 2.55 Ford weighs in with a fluid and biting guitar break.
L.O.V.E. is a staggered drum workout by the fine Kenny Aronoff sitting inside a song that somehow reminds me of Huey Lewis – just try not singing along ! best to surrender. Another excellent Lopez vocal here. Broken Heart finds Billy Gibbons returning to guest with SBM and whatever telepathy has developed between him and the band, it shows no sign of receding. A cruising tempo, subterranean bass and whacking drums set the scene. Billy sings up a storm.
Bad Boys a has heavy beat with scoop-out mines a liquid driving beat with a bustling band sound. Again a catchy chorus. ‘Bad Boys keep playin’ The Blues’ they sing, over churning Hammond and out-there bass. Eric Gales appeared with the group at Ramblin’ Man throwing all manner of guitar shapes and he guests here on Elevate, a strong mid-tempo rock outing. Always exciting – I as watching him last night – Gales brings soul to any party. A Hendrixy rocker of a number, this gives him space to ride above the rolling beat and at 1:32 Eric is off, spreading shards of Strat between the lines. It’s a heady and addictive song, for sure. At 2.45 the man is shooting off again with a brief sheet of notes. It all drops into a mid-tempo tread for the coda, the ladies singing along over the steady snare.
The One is brisk, with a guitar figure reminiscent of an Eddie Money hit. Lopez sings with authority on this uplifting soul-rock composition with a touch of Carlos. Next up is Hard Times with our friend and theirs Steve Lukather with the ensemble. It’s an insistent and mystic song, taking its time to build, a solid drumbeat settling in at 00.45. Serge Simic is co-writer here. Lukather plays incisive, aching runs at just the right points. The bass runs here are nimble and soulful and yet again the vocal is top class. Nothing is going to go wrong. At 3:50 Steve is off on a wild wahwah run over the chorus. An original player, he then spits out curving lines that seem to rise out of the sound and sound the siren..wonderful stuff! The drum emphases are breathtaking.
Cry uses a shimmering electric piano to bring in a soul ballad. It’s unusual even for this crew and with a contemporary lyric, sung with feel. The Stranger is choppy funk with throat wah and clever bass staggers and crisp drumming. Walter Trout is in the band for What’s Wrong, a moody and dreamy blues journey, with an Albert King lick lurking in the melody. This digs deep and Trout brings his eyes-closed voodoo to the song. Thank You has all guns firing in a Band Of Gypsies setting, utterly catchy and how this band swings!
This Is Love has a real groove, deep bass from Fabrizio and fluid legato guitar, presumably Lopez.
A successful follow-up album by a soul-drenched core group and with endless first-class Lopez vocals that the vibrant production waters like a rose in rich soil…
(Thanks to the crew at Mascot Label Group UK)
You can listen to Supersonic Blues Machine (feat.Walter Trout) – ‘What’s Wrong’ in this article.
Supersonic Blues Machine’s new album ‘Californisoul’ is out now on Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group.
For our chats with bassist, singer and writer Fabrizio…..please click here: http://bit.ly/2lrUqZV
For more band information and tour dates, drive over to http://bit.ly/28OOO2M