Javier Vargas fronts the band, his musical influences have been shaped by living in Argentina and Venezuela, moving to the USA and living in Spain. Having played the guitar for most of his life firstly a Spanish Guitar moving onto electric guitar at twelve it isn’t surprising that this album is guitar driven rock that draws its influences from many musical streams including the blues.
Vargas Blues Band, From the Dark have created a true crossover sound melding and blending musical textures and tones to create a sound that is uniquely his. This is the album that showcases his stellar guitar skills with intuitive and slide guitar and lead breaks that soar and crash melodically into the support of the rhythm section. The cherries on top of this musical cake are the vocals of Gaz Pearson, as they articulate and flow around the words that wrap around the guitar creating a homogenous sound making this album stand out from the crowd.
The album opening track makes a statement from the off with Bye Bye Zombie this is a crescendo of sound punctuated with some stylish use of the wah-wah pedal in the solo’s that gets your musical ear engaged you want to hear the rest of the album.
We have a change of beat and emphasis with Latino driven blues riffs on Moon Light Blues, this track cements the power of Gaz’s vocals and Javier’s guitar work and the only time the hints of his South American influences are heard.
This is an album that has tracks that have a beat and rhythm that would fit into many a radio station, coincidently both starting with ‘R’; Radioactivity and Runaway. It is his trademark slide guitar with its bluesy sound that gives this album a tone not found on energetic guitar-centric rock inspired music full of melodic power chords and searing bending of the strings with a twist of the blues added to the mix.
The cover of Palace Of the King has great backing vocals but this track has been re-hashed so many times it does not add anything to the album, From the Dark would be just as good without another variant of this perennially recorded ad-played anthem.
Roy’s Blues and Esperanto draw the album to a close and it is that combo of Vargas and Pearson that lingers on and makes this album an enjoyable listen
If you love guitar with attitude and lots of tonal texture combined with powerful vocals, from a guitarist who has played with an eclectic mix of stars including Prince, Chris Rea, Frank Marino, Junior Wells, Glen Hughes & Devon Allman on stage and in the studio; delivering music that refuses to be of-a-type, then this is an album for you.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Javier Vargas: Guitar
Gaz Pearson: Vocals
Luis Mayuo: Bass
Peter Kunst: Drums
Tamas Szasz: Keyboards
Roberto Daiqui: Spanish Guitar
Special Guest: Backing Vocals
Dani Wilde & Chris Jagger
1. Bye Bye Zombie
2. Let It Go
3. Moonlight Blues
5. Palace of The King
7. Inner Sun
8. Stealer of Love
9. Out Of The Dark
10. Roy Blues