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Erickson; Craig: Sky Train Galaxy

Seldom has a record label been more aptly named. For if one word describes the latest release from Grooveyard Records; Sky Train Galaxy by howlin' guitarist Criag Erickson, it is indeed gurooooooove.

A guitarist steeped in the tradition of Hendrix, Trower, Stevie Ray and Tommy Bolin, Erickson again and again stamps his bluesy authority all over a record that drips with class from start to finish. Rather than, as so many modern day guitarists seem to feel the need to, shout of his virtuosity from the rooftops, with his Sky Train Galaxy, Erickson is keen to simply seduce you into his way of thinking, before thoroughly drenching you in some of the most sumptuous guitar licks to be wrung from a fret board. However, while the ethos may be one which is thoroughly familiar, it's the manner in which this uber-talented guitarist somehow manages to keep his ideas sounding first day fresh and far from the tried and trusted, that makes it the joy it is. The likes of the meandering beauty of "Illusions Of The World" is utterly captivating, while the bounce and grind of "Mercy" is as infectiously catchy as a dose of the pox. The latter also features magnificent backing vocals from Alicia Strong, this lady proving a real force to be reckoned with alongside the smokey, authentic vocals of Erickson himself. And as if all of that wasn't enough, there's a ZZ Top groove (there's that word again!) to die for in the shape of "Boogie For Love", the deep seated gyrations enough to wake the dead from their slumbers and cajole them into shaking their bones one last time.

Unlike many albums in this vein, there's only one cover on show and even that's not a 'safe standard' cut. Erickson instead using a variety of approaches to breathe new emphasis into the underrated Come Taste The Band, Deep Purple cut "Gettin' Tighter". Which also adds in "Ode To T", which takes the "Owed To G" theme from the same album and dedicates it to the one and only Tommy Bolin, who was of course Purple's guitarist at the time.

If hard hitting, but never overtly masculine blues is something that turns your head, then there's no denying that this excellent album, where subtlety and atmosphere are far more potent powers than bold brashness could ever hope to be, is where you should look. Here comes Craig Erickson, here comes Sky Train Galaxy, here comes pure blues rock. What more could you want?


Track Listing
1. THE COMEBACK

2. BLINDED BY LOVE

3. GETTIN' TIGHTER/ODE TO T

4. TIME (NEVER ENOUGH)

5. ILLUSIONS OF THE WORLD

6. MOJO IN MEMPHIS

7. MERCY

8. BOOGIE FOR LOVE

9. SKY TRAIN

10. MORNING GLORY

11. MOJO IN MEMPHIS (REPRISE)
(ACOUSTIC VERSION)

Added: September 24th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Sky Train Galaxy at The Grooveyard
Hits: 1029
Language: english

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