Dr Z Takes Us West Of Flushing South of Frisco
This debut album crammed with a mix of approaches to the blues; it is accomplished and a joy to listen to from the first to the last note. Dr Z Presents Super Sonic Blues Machine has a core of three musicians who understand making great music. Bassist/Producer Fabrizio Grossi is joined by Lance Lopez on guitar and vocals and drummer Kenny Aronoff. Added to this powerful hub are guests that all bring a special style and interpretation to the blues.
The first two tracks introduce the heart of Dr Z, opening with Miracle Man with its blues infused opening and a burst of harp the vocals then kick in as the tempo builds and you just have to join in with the clapping. With its opening chant you are taken deep into the roots of America’s history raw hot and swampy southern rock I Ain’t Fallin Again is both melodic and hypnotic. Throughout the album the trio that is the backbone of the album deliver songs that work in context of the guest they have on board the Dr Z journey taking us West Of Flushing South of Frisco.
Third track Running Whiskey ringing with guest Billy Gibbons’ vibe, a vitality that pours into your ears with the heat and intensity of hot whiskey. The combo of stinging guitars and vocals from Billy adds the feel of ZZ Top to the Party that Is Dr Z Presents Super Sonic Blues Machine. Tempo changes along with the signature style of Warren Haynes steps in with his delicious Southern Rock guitar playing, he is and always will be the Remedy. Recognize the name, you should as he is at the heart of the Gov’t Mule sound, and longtime guitarist with The Allman Brothers Band and his solo work. Who else puts in an appearance with their guitars? Chris Duarte changes the tonal texture with his Texan blues-rock guitar playing – That’s My Way, this is a track that is done Chris’s way with guitar so sharp you can hear the strings vibrate as they cut through the musical backdrop. Next up on the guest roster is Eric Gales, with Nightmares and Dreams as a child prodigy I am positive his musical career has been both, this is a track that is guitar-led and driven with the power of the six-string searing through and dominates. The domination is not about noise and speed it is the subtle mixing of vocals and guitar and layers of sound and variation in tempo as the track develops and as the urgency becomes heightened the guitar follows. Then there is the wailing, howling blues guitar that is the spirit that drives Walter Trout on Can’t Take It Anymore with the accompaniment of keyboard playing that winds itself around the guitar and Walter’s vocals this is a track that is dripping in emotions. The notes are wrung out, stretched out as the lead breaks augment the lyrics with raw open emotions. The last of the guest guitarist plays a slower number full of reflection as Robben Ford sings Let’s Call It A Day a gentle beat as the lyrics explore the ending of a relationship. The guitar work is spot on every time blues with swashbuckling style.
West of Flushing South of Frisco an exploration of the emotive power of the guitar, vocals and the working of the instruments to create an array of tonal textures, emotional shapes. This is blues that rocks gently in the breeze and then howls like a hurricane. Sometimes in a rush other times laid back exploring the power of the six-strings. This album keeps on giving no wonder with so many special guests at the party.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
Dr Z Presents Super Sonic Blues Machine – West Of Flushing South of Frisco – out 26th February on Mascot Label Group
1. Miracle Man
2. I Ain’t Falling Again
3. Running Whiskey (Feat Billy F Gibbons)
4. Remedy (Feat Warren Haynes)
5. Bone Bucket Blues
6. Let It Be
7. That’s My Way (Feat. Chris Duarte)
8. Ain’t No Love (In The Heart of The City)
9. Nightmares and Dreams (Feat Eric Gales)
10. Can’t Take It No More (Feat Walter Trout)
11. Whiskey Time (Running Whiskey’s extended ending)
12. Let’s Call It A Day (Feat Robben Ford)