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Various Artists: Grooveyard Records - The Sound Of Guitar Rock - Best Of Volume Three
Anyone who has read my reviews of Grooveyard Records releases over the last few years will possibly be wondering if I'm actually on the label's payroll. I can assure you that I'm not, it's just that the classic American guitar rock that Joe Romagnola and his fellow Grooveyarders specialise in hits my musical sweet spot every time. If you've never sampled the eclectic, yet always guitar led blues, funk and rock this label delivers with each and every release, then the perfect place to start is with Grooveyard's very own compilation series, this being the third.
What you get for your budget price disc ($5.00!) is sixteen tacks of exactly what makes the US the heart of guitar led heavy blues rock, with a whole lot more heaped on top. Each and every one from the thumping Mike Onesko's Guitar Army, filthy funkster Dirty Dave Osti and good time groovin' American Mafia, to the silky smooth bluesin' Jay Jesse Johnson, mesmerisingly musical Bryce Janey and easy living but hard rockin' Tony Spinner fire out the most authentic of sounds. Thankfully however, authentic isn't a byword for hackneyed, the music these guys specialise in sounding as fresh as the day a guitar was first picked up in anger, or indeed in love.
Reviews of the albums from all of the above can be found elsewhere on SoT, however even for a 'yard devotee like myself, there are new delights to unearth for the first time. The classy mid paced stomp of blues authority Pebbleman serve up a perfect example of how to slowly build the intensity into a song that hits hard, but certainly lacks for no beauty. Guitar Pete on the other hand arrives in instrumental style, his "Mudslinger" sitting somewhere between Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Healey and Leslie West, while the opportunity to hear the studio version of "Rock Your Mojo"from the ever awesome Blindstone is just too good to pass up.
Impressively, what also comes through on this disc is the variety of styles and approaches the Grooveyard champion under the broad umbrella of guitar led heavy blues rock; Julien Lacharme Project rivalling Joe Satriani in the taste, and tone stakes, while Johnny Hunkins decides he's "Gonna Have A Party" by channelling the spirit of Paul Kossoff and blending that style with something altogether more American and altogether more Southern. Man does it work! Whereas the stupendous sounds Martin J Andersen wrings from the neck of his guitar during the spellbinding "Stranger" really is a masterclass in how to make a lasting mark without the need to rip it up, instead relying on his unbelievably deft touch.
Honestly, if guitar led rock of any variety is your bag, then you need to be checking out the Grooveyard roster. I've no hesitation in hailing them as the best label for this style of music out there. The Sound Of Guitar Rock - Best Of Volume Three is a superb place to start, I promise you'll be back for much more.
1. BLINDSTONE: "ROCK YOUR MOJO" FROM: "GREETINGS FROM THE KARMA FACTORY"
2. BRETT ELLIS: "KEEPING THE ROCK ALIVE" FROM: "REDEMPTION AT THE MOJO CIRCUS"
3. VINCE HAWKINS & COMPANY SLAVE: "ROCK & ROLL IS WHAT WE KNOW"
FROM: "ROADS TO FREEDOM"
4. MIKE ONESKO'S GUITAR ARMY: "KEEPING THE FLAME ALIVE" (FEATURING GUEST GUITARIST: DIRTY DAVE OSTI) FROM: "IN THE NAME OF ROCK N' ROLL"
5. DIRTY DAVE OSTI: "REACH FOR THE SKY" FROM: "SHAKEDOWN ON SALVATION STREET"
6. JOHNNY HUNKINS: "GONNA HAVE A PARTY" (WITH JARROD ENGLAND ON VOCALS) FROM: "DOWN IN FLAMES"
7. AMERICAN MAFIA: "YOUR GOOD LOVIN'" (WITH JOHN WEST ON VOCALS) FROM: "ROCK N' ROLL HIT MACHINE"
8. SNAKE HEAD RITUAL: "LAY YOUR BURDENS DOWN" FROM: "SNAKE HEAD RITUAL"
9. JAY JESSE JOHNSON: "GHOSTS IN TEXAS" FROM: "SET THE BLUES ON FIRE"
10. BRYCE JANEY: "KICKED LIKE A DOG" FROM: "GAME OF LIFE"
11. GUITAR PETE: "MUDSLINGER" FROM: "RAW DEAL"
12. BULLFROG: "CLEARWATER" (FEATURING GUEST GUITARIST: JIMI BARBIANI) FROM: "CLEARWATER"
13. TONY SPINNER: "GOOD FOR ME" FROM: "EARTH MUSIC FOR ALIENS"
14. JULIEN LACHARME PROJECT: "NEW LIFE" FROM: "OUT OF BOUNDS"
15. PEBBLEMAN: "ENERGY" FROM: "CALL OF FATE"
16. MARTIN J. ANDERSEN: "STRANGER" (DEDICATED TO JOHNNY WINTER) FROM: "SIX STRING RENEGADE"
Added: March 28th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Grooveyard Records
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