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Chris Catena’s Rock City Tribe - Truth In Unity

Chris Catena may not be a well known name outside of music circles, but within those hallowed halls the Italian singer has the pulling power to make his latest project, Chris Catena’s Rock City Tribe, into an all star outing that puts many of these types of releases to shame. To give you an idea of the type of talent brought onboard the Truth In Unity album, just let me ring-off Bobby Kimball, Carmine Appice, Tony Franklin, Ozz Fox, Scotti Hill, Eric Ragno, Doug Aldrich, Matt Starr and Dick Wagner as the tip of this album’s iceberg and instantly leave you in no doubt that we’re in rock a-list territory here.

Thankfully, the talent that shines brightest remains Catena himself, a rich varied voice that can be Matti Alfonzetti like one moment and then come over all Glenn Hughes the next, catching the ear whether the man is sharing vocal duties or standing all alone front and centre. With the songwriting split quite evenly between Francesco Marras, Christian Francesconi and Locomotive Breath man Janne Stark, Catena proves once more that his strongest strength - aside from his full, rich tones of course - is his ability to bring a really impressive team around him and allow them to shine. However that’s not to take away from songs such as the banjo infused “Get Ready” - which reminds of the underrated sound that Lynyrd Skynyrd employed to such good effect on their more recent output - where it’s Stark who handles all of the guitars alongside slide, dobro and banjo man Toby Wilson, while Catena turns in a truly scintillating vocal.

If, however, it’s star power you’re looking for then soak up the bluesy, funky “Down In The Black” where John Sloman (Uriah Heep/ Lone Star) joins in the fun behind the mic, Ken Sandin (Alien) handles bass and Troy Lucketta (Tesla) bangs ‘dem drums. And that’s an aspect that can be found throughout, with Jimmy Crespo (Aerosmith) teaming up with Blues Saraceno on guitar for the swirling swoop of “Who Knew”, where Chuck Wright (Giuffria, Quiet Riot) provides bass. Arriving replete with an irresistible singalong of a chorus and some tasty yet considered guitar work, there’s also no doubt this cut bridges the gap between authentic heavy, hard blues romper and proud strutting melodic rock sheen. Neither is that the only song where the guitar team is enough to make you plough a dirt field with your dropped jaw, Damon Johnson (Black Star Riders) and Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake, Night Ranger) taking turns on lead on “Round The Bend” as Stark nails down the rhythm work alongside bassist James Lomenzo (White Lion). Add in the vintage Whitesnake shuffle and hustle of “Livin’ Wreck” where Davide Spurio hammers the life out of his Hammond as Stark and Rowan Robertson (Dio) expertly ape the Marsden/Moody team-up that used to drive Old Cov’s boogie monster, and really, all bases are covered.

I could go on - after all I haven’t told you about Tracii Guns dropping by to go “Ridin’ The Freebird Highway”, or Stevie Salas utterly exploding onto “Angel City”, but by now you’re getting the picture. If you love blues and you dig hard rock, or if you miss the melodic hip thrusting days or like to live on the Southern side, then the one true maxim you need to live by is simple - there is Truth In Unity.

Track Listing
1. Angel City
2. The Trickster
3. Down In The Black
4. Motorcycle Killers
5. The Seventh Son
6. Get Ready
7. My Angel
8. Still A Fool
9. Who Knew
10. Livin’ Wreck
11. Round The Bend
12. Fall Of Our Heroes
13. Freedom
14. Theme For An Imaginary Western
15. Ridin’ The Freebird Highway

Added: October 3rd 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Chris Catena @ The Grooveyard
Hits: 1281
Language: english

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