Wolf Mail may seem to be an unusual name for an artist, but that doesn't stop him from playing some killer guitar all over this CD. Wolf Mail wrote or co-wrote nine of the ten songs on this CD except for a cover of Ted Nugent's 'Free For All'. The music is rocking, tight and aggressive with lots of guitar for the guitar freaks in the audience. I love a good
CD with a guitar player that really knows how to get sound out of a guitar, particularly when the sound is clean and clear in the mix.
'Solid Ground' starts out with a solid Texas blues shuffle with an aggressive groove. Lots of guitar/vocal call and response. 'Hello' is a slow blues but avoids the standard 12 bar format. The guitar playing here leans towards a country blues style and is quite tasteful. 'Country Side Blues' is an instrumental that starts out with almost country arpeggio's with a rocking strummed chord backing that's a mixture of country, rock and blues. It's not fast, or particularly fancy but definitely different. 'Stand Down' reminds me a bit of the rock band "Free" with it's simple verse and full chorus. With a little more gain on the guitar this could be a real anthem. As it is, the guitar is very rock and roll while the piano solo leans towards jazzier playing. The last minute of the song changes tempo into a full jazzy treatment. Again unexpected and very cool at the same time. Ted Nugent's 'Free For All' gets a slide treatment that sounds more Delta Blues than rock and roll. I did not recognize this song until the chorus in this arrangement. This is one of the most non-cover cover songs I've heard. 'Giant Steps' is over two and a half minutes of solid Hendrix style groove. This is just fun to listen to, and it rocks.
Bottom Line: I really like this release. Excellent musicianship, wide range of styles and killer guitar playing. The vocals are good and overall presentation is excellent. I like the range of styles, and the transition between styles even during songs. This CD is above average and definitely a keeper. I give it four out of five stars.
Wolf Mail - guitars and vocals
Steve McCormack - bass
Greg Babcock - drums
Gerald Sarfati - Piano & B3 Organ
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