09 March 2009 (released)
28 February 2009
Aynsley Lister is generally regarded as one of the bright stars of British Blues and Rock but he is better known all across Europe than in his home territory. In the US he is reckoned as the best of the current crop by some of the most influential musicians around. This guy is right up there with Joe Bonamassa and Walter Trout!
‘Equilibrium’ is a critical album for him – his first for a new label and at a point where Rock & Blues is enjoying more exposure and attention than it has for years.
Before you all keel over with holding your breath I will let you into the conclusion – much of this album is as good as anything he has ever done.
It starts slightly low key with a balladic piece, gently but powerfully building to a rocky climax and with a great vocal in the mix but it is the move into Trower/Hendrix territory with ‘Time’s Up’ that proclaims that he is playing his balls off and still feeling the funk and the heart of the Blues. ‘What’s It All About’ moves back into the introspection with a slow-burning guitar line and some real soul in the playing.
‘Crazy’ is brave – a version of the Gnarls Barklay classic that puts it on the road to Clarksdale as he plays on a steel stringed acoustic with a simple drum backing – no it doesn’t make you crazy!
‘Big Sleep’ stays with the Blues sound and he explodes with a huge riff and wailing organ sound.
‘Early Morning Dew’ is simply a lovely ballad with a stunning – and understated – guitar line and then you hit ‘Sugar Low’ which hits the ground running and careens off like a corvette and shows one of the sides of Lister we have always liked – he plays guitar like a demon!
‘Hurricane’, the closer, is a brooding piece or rocky Blues, very much in the Ian Parker mould, but with his own take on things and a really punchy way to close.
Every number has its own identity and as a musician he seems to have found the place he really wants to be in. He is a British musician but he has developed into a fully international rocker without losing his identity along the way.
This could – should – be the album to really break him on the scene both here and in the US and I will be listening to it for pleasure for weeks to come.