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BACHMAN


BACHMAN

"Heavy Blues"

By Dark Starr
 
I’ve always been torn when it comes to the output of Randy Bachman – or at least the major output. I’ve always been a huge fan of The Guess Who. I’ve never liked Bachman Turner Overdrive all that much, though. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this album. It’s Randy Bachman’s new power trio, but with a number of notable guests. I’d say that it lands somewhere between BTO and the Guess Who. It’s definitely heavier. It’s more of jam sound in a lot of ways. There is (as one might guess with a power trio) a lot of Cream on display here. Overall, I like this a lot, but there are a couple songs that rather disappoint me.
 
The opener is “The Edge” and it’s a screaming rocker makes me think of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” at times. It has a real BTO sound beyond that. The chorus is definitely in line with that sound. It’s a solid rocker with catchy hooks and a good way to start this in style.
 
Featuring Scott Holiday, I absolutely love “Ton of Bricks.” It’s a screaming hot number. It’s heavy and blues, fitting the title of the album. Yet, it’s also modern and alternative rock based. The song is worth the price of admission all by itself. “Bad Child” (with Joe Bonamassa) is a blues rocker that almost has a garage band vibe to it. Still, it’s classy and has some scorching guitar soloing.
 
Another highlight is “Oh My Lord.” Featuring  Robert Randolph, the rocker is more of a bluesy metallic jam. It’s one of the meaner and meatier pieces on the disc. There’s a real Bo Diddley beat to “Confessin' To The Devil.” Featuring Jeff Healey, it has a great tribal element, too. The percussion is busy and classy. It’s another strong piece. The title track features Peter Frampton, and it’s another highlight of the set. The jazz section makes me think of The Guess Who quite a bit. The heavier movement is another that leans toward metal. It’s a killer track for sure. It’s another that is well worth getting this album.
 
There are a few pieces that just don’t work that well. “Learn To Fly” is more basic. It’s not bad, but not all that special. Featuring Neil Young, “Little Girl Lost” is just okay. It’s one of two, I’d consider “skip it” songs, though. The other is “Please Come to Paris” with Luke Doucet. It just seems to lack a lot of charm, except for some of the guitar soloing. Still, the whole set pulls together nicely for the closer, “We Need to Talk.” A mellower rocker, it is another highlight of the set and a great way to end it in style, too.