Tuesday, 30 September 2014

JOHNNY HUNKINS – Down In Flames (CD)

In 2011 American blues rocker Johnny Hunkins released his debut Talladega Pile-Up on Grooveyard Records, fitting in well with the labels armada of killer blues heavy rock guitarists. Now it’s time for the follow-up and I must say I’m positively surprised. The debut was great, but this album feels like it’s on a different level. Both the song writing and production has elevated. Johnny is still a kick-ass guitarist, so nothing different there. He’s also a great singer, but this time he has however invited some prominent colleagues to share that bit. First up is Nugent/St. Paradise singer Derek St. Holmes, whose voice I totally love. He does really well here as well, even though I do miss some of his juvenile power. This part is however definitely totally killed by Rufus Huff powerhouse Jarrod England, who lends his raspy, bluesy awesome vocal cords to the song Gonna Have A Party. Man, this guy really gives me goosebumps (no, I f***ing refuse to say “goosies”!). Jarrod returns in the outstanding riff rocker River Is Risin’, where I swear his vocal cords must be all curled up. This track also features former Blue Murder/The Firm bassist Tony Franklin, who really complements Ryan Hoyle’s groovy drumming and then, of course, Hunkins riffing and cool solo wailing all over the song. This one almost has a Zeppelinish vibe to it with some cool tempo changes giving it a nice broad spectrum. Hats off to you Mr Hunkins for a top-notch delivery. Next time, eh? ;-).
Janne Stark
Year: 2014
Country: USA

Label: Grooveyard Records

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