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Clarke, Gilby: Gilby Clarke

I lost track a long time ago of how many former members of Guns N' Roses have released solo albums or records with other bands during the time that Axl Rose has spent firing and hiring session musicians to complete Chinese Democracy (recently delayed once again until at least March 2007). To be fair, this self-titled CD from guitarist Gilby Clarke who replaced Izzy Stradlin in GN'R on the Use Your Illusion tour is a 14-song compilation that draws from his five solo discs. But it is still an album available for public consumption, albeit one that capitalizes on Clarke's involvement in CBS-TV's Rock Star: Supernova band with bassist Jason Newsted (Metallica/Voivod) and drummer Tommy Lee (Motley Crue).

Clarke always seemed a little out of place in GN'R, overshadowed by his more self-destructive bandmates. But Gilby Clarke offers listeners a chance to find out what they missed on 1994's Pawnshop Guitars, 1997's The Hangover, 1998's Rubber, 99 Live and 2002's Swag. Much of the muscular material here is indicative of its era: crunchy down-tuned guitars, angst-ridden lyrics and noisy melodies. But through it all, Clarke never loses his groovy swagger and no-bullshit attitude. His voice sounds like a weird amalgam of the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson and Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, and he puts on a searing display of fancy guitar playing. A re-recording of the ballad-turned-alt-rocker "Black" features Rock Star: Supernova runner-up Dilana on vocals, and two bluesy roots rockers are culled from Clarke's early days with ex-Stray Cat Jim Phantom in a band called Colonel Parker.

Unless you're a hardcore Clarke fan who already owns his earlier work, some of which is hard to find these days, Gilby Clarke will fill that void in your GN'R-related collection quite nicely.

Track Listing:
1) Cure Me Or Kill Me
2) Tijuana Jail
3) Black (featuring Dilana)
4) Skin n' Bones
5) Wasn't Yesterday Great
6) It's Good Enough for Rock n' Roll
7) Punk Rock Pollution
8) Kilroy Was Here
9) Bourbon Street Blues
10) Can't Get That Stuff (Colonel Parker)
11) Dropping Out (Colonel Parker)
12) I'm Nobody
13) Alien
14) Judgement Day

Added: January 12th 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Gilby Clarke Web Site
Hits: 2005
Language: english

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Clarke, Gilby: Gilby Clarke
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-01-12 13:49:39
My Score:

Gilby Clarke is no stranger to Rock & Roll and despite his background, there is always the chance that younger fans are largely unaware of his many accomplishments. For those of you who only know his name from the blockbuster television show "Rockstar: Supernova" then this CD offers you the perfect chance to see just where the performer comes from and what he has brought to the table musically for so many years. Clarke's resume reads most prominently with his contributions to the music of Guns 'N Roses where he replaced Izzy Stradlin while the group was on tour back in 1991. He left in 1994 (Axl machinations as expected) and proceeded to record and produce on his own showing quite the prolific body of work. That brings us to this tasty compilation release. Musically the best way to define the songs that Clarke usually delivers is by saying its a little bit Black Crowes and a lot of Rock attitude. Listeners will find this collection as a cool treasure chest since it covers his solo releases (Pawnshop Guitars, The Hangover, Rubber, '99 Live and Swag) which cover 1994-2002 along with some other trinkets. From start to finish, this is solid Rock & Roll and even if you were never a fan of his the diversity and groove of the tracks offers you the chance to try him once again. In 2006, Clarke was a prominent figure in the public eye as the guitarist for a Tommy Lee fueled show and band that would feature Jason Newsted (Metallica/Voivod) as well. The show was an instant hit as singers vied for the coveted position that ended up with Lukas Rossi winning out. Despite his winning, there was another worthy contestant in Dilana and she is featured on the song "Black". It is a good track but far too Janis Joplin, as opposed to the unique style that she possessed on her own. Personally, I felt Rossi was the worst choice of the lot and had hoped for some odd twist from last season that found stellar Marty Casey returning and getting the gig. Other treats here are selections from Col. Parker, the group he had with Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats). They were a good band that sadly failed to generate the interest that was deserved. It was totally different from the Stray Cats sound. Clarke is also a strong Producer who has worked with both L.A. Guns and Crash Kelly. The material on the CD finds one of its strongest tunes in lead track "Cure Me Or Kill Me" which while one of the oldest inclusions is still a fresh dose of Rock attitude. I was also quite fond of "Skin 'N Bones" and "Alien". As one of the core creators of the music of RSN, you can see the developments offered here that come to fruition on the new vehicle. This is a great sampler of a very productive career. The musical climate has changed and once again offers this brand of Rock and Roll the time and despite all the other offerings the genre brings out this pure roots stuff still sounds fresh.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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