I get a lot of CD's to review and most are good but not outstanding. I've had a couple of exceptions lately and this is one of them. It's really enjoyable to hear a professionally produced CD with excellent vocals, and excellent musicianship. Craig Erickson has been around for quite a while actually, previously releasing several CD's on the Shrapnel label. In my opinion, this is his best yet. Excellently produced and shows an overall fire and intensity that has been pushed up a notch compared to his previous releases. The liner notes state that inspirations for this CD are Tommy Bolin, Hendrix, Trower, Frank Marino, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson and King's X. That's some pretty heavy hitters to draw from and I think that he has done an excellent job. He has been inspired but not to the point of copping licks and being a clone of other artists. Craig wrote eleven of the twelve songs on this CD. The only exceptions being Hendrix's 'Angel' and 'Wild Dogs' written by Tommy Bolin and John Tesar. This is an overall solid heavy blues rock CD with
firey guitar work all over it.
Some of the more interesting songs on this CD are 'Desperate', which is one of the emotional songs on this disk. With chorus on the airy backing guitar and tasty guitar licks working with the vocals, this is one of the early highlights. 'Remember Now' reminds me a bit of Eric Gales and Frank Marino as to overall sound. A bit heavy with solid vocals and guitar working together. 'Break Free' has a definite solid Jimi Hendrix vibe to it. A solid rhythm guitar sound is required for a good Hendrix vibe. It's not always the easiest thing to play as Hexdrix was a master at rhythm. Craig has that solid rhythm down on this song. 'Bus Stop' is heavy heavy rock blues with a stomping musical backing. 'Shine', the title track appears to get it's influence's from Trower and Marino which is not a bad combination at all. This song has an open airy quality about it which I really enjoyed. 'Broke Down Love' is a slow melodic blues, with some really tasty guitar work and just enough keyboards to accent the song.
Bottom Line: if you like any of the above listed influences, particularly Hendrix, Trower and Marino, then you should like this CD. If you are familiar with and enjoy Craig Erickson's work, then rush out and pick this one up. It's his best yet. I give it four stars overall. It's a keeper.
"Shine," "Force Majeure," and "Two Sides Of The Blues," can be purchased on-line
through www.amazon.com, other titles through www.shrapnelrecords.com
P.O. Box 26871
Rochester, NY 14626
Craig Erickson - guitars, vocals, bass and keyboards
Rob Lamothe - vocals
Glenn Huges - vocals on 'Wild Dogs'
Johhnie Bolin - dums on 'Wild Dogs'
Kerri Collings - drums
Cody Collings - drums and background vocals
David Morgan - drums on 'Businessman'
Al Robinson - Bass on 'Businessman'
Lisa Winn - Background vocals on 'Shine'
This review is copyright © 2001 by Robert Murphy, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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