As a kick-off to the new year and new decade I really can’t think of much better than this band fronted by Marcus Malone – a Blues rocker from Detroit and now a strong part of the UK scene – and Innes Sibun – British Blues Rock guitarist with a long history as a bandleader himself and in top bands including Sari Schorr, Taj Mahal and Johnny Winter.
The combination makes some stunning music together, strongly in the Blues Rock vein and there is a real punch and fresh kick to the music. It isn’t anything you’ve never heard before but they do what they do as well as almost anyone around at the moment.
The rest of the band are hardly less stellar than the two leads: Christopher Nugent on drums has been with Malone for many years, Roger Innis is the bassist every band wants holding down the line and Stevie Watts on keyboards is one of the busiest Hammond players around. All told a band of real talent.
Malone himself has a chameleon like quality about his vocals, one minute taking on a Paul Rodgers-like bellow and the next well into early Rod Stewart – not that he is any kind of copyist, he just jas the chops to apply himself to various styles with equal aplomb. Sibun’s guitar is powerful and his slide work is superb – when he rocks out he takes you with him and I found myself dancing like a loon on more than a couple of occasions.
Right from the off with the title track and first single you are smacked in the face with a heavy beat and strong riff coupled with tough vocals and all held together with swirling keyboards and Innis throbbing bass. A heck of a way to open proceedings.
Next up is another cracker ‘Let Me Love You’ – very Free-like and Malone really belting out the vocals with real class. There is a funky feel in the middle and SIbun’s solo reminds me in many ways of Paul Kossoff.
The whole album is full of good songs and great playing, there isn’t a weak number here, but what really stands out is the feeling that these guys are really happy to be playing together at this time.
I’m hesitant to start the year off with a 5 star mark but the sheer pleasure and elation this one gave me is a great way to go into a new decade. A must for any Blues Rock lover