Category Archives: Album Review


Review by Peter Coates –


Another new name to me from the big wide world of the blues, and another cracking example of the quality of blues guitarists out there today – with a handful of solo albums behind him, as well as three years in The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kirk Fletcher has one of the more soulful voices, twinned with a guitar style that brings to mind the likes of Carlos Santana, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton, Gary Clarke Jr and Eric Gales to name just a few!
Continue reading Album Review : KIRK FLETCHER – HOLD ON

Album Review : Dave Hole – Goin’ Back Down

Review by Peter Coates

Dave Hole had been on my radar for many years thanks to regular mentions from a mate, noting that he doesn’t release much or tour Australia often. So here comes Goin’ Back Down album number 12 (I think) – after at least 3 years of preparation, writing and learning about engineering and production, building a studio, as well as working out all of the various musical parts he was going to play. Eight of the tracks see Dave Hole playing everything himself, along with some samples and loops, and 3 tracks feature some sidemen on Bass, Drums and Keyboards.
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Album Review : Black Stone Cherry – “Family Tree”

Review by Peter Coates

Black Stone Cherry are still Chris Robertson (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ben Wells (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass guitar, backinisg vocals), and the brutal John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals), and this 6th studio record sees the band repeating the production duties in the Barrick studio in Glasgow KY, where they had first recorded in back in 2003. In addition Chris handled the mixing of this record, and has done a fine job of it.
Continue reading Album Review : Black Stone Cherry – “Family Tree”

Album Review : Von Hertzen Brothers – War Is Over

Review by Peter Coates

There seem to be more and more bands out there defying genres and refusing to be pigeon-holed as any one class of rock…..classic, indie, progressive or hardcore….there is a bit of something for all in the latest release from Finnish trio Von Hertzen Brothers, with their 6th album War Is Over released on the Mascot Label Group at the start of November.
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Album Review : Supersonic Blues Machine – Californisoul

Review by Peter Coates

This is the second album release for the blues rock collective that is Supersonic Blues Machine – three great and well-respected musicians at the core of the band in Fabrizio Grossi (Bass), Kenny Aronoff (Drums) and Lance Lopez (Vocals / Guitar), and a bunch of “friends” guesting on the album and at the live shows the band gets to play.
Continue reading Album Review : Supersonic Blues Machine – Californisoul

EP Review : BLACK STONE CHERRY – Black to Blues

Review by Pete Coates

Fresh on the heels of Black Stone Cherry’s recent trips to Australia, first as support to Steel Panther, and then on their first headlining tour of some smaller club venues, the band took some time out to spend two days recording a set of their favourite blues tracks, from the artists who influenced them as they grew up, and whose tracks they jammed to in the various garages they used to rehearse in. Now these are the songs they listen to on the tour bus sharing a bourbon or two!
Continue reading EP Review : BLACK STONE CHERRY – Black to Blues

Album Review : Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together

Review by Peter Coates

One of the old guard of the US Blues battalion, equally respected by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat and John Mayall with whom he earned his stripes in the 1970s and 1980s, and the young upstarts of the industry, such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Gales, Walter Trout has basically gathered together a who’s who of the modern blues family to perform with him and his band in a joyous project that really delivers a fantastic collection of original tracks written by Trout specifically for the guitarist joining him for the track (with a little help from his wife in channelling the different blues styles to the right guest!).
Continue reading Album Review : Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together

Album Review : Simo – ‘Rise & Shine’

Review by Peter Coates

Another Nashville trio who spends more time on the road than in the studio, performing live, writing on the bus and in dressing rooms, with 215 shows in 2016 supporting their debut album, Let Love Show The Way, SIMO are way more than just a vehicle for the ridiculously talented singer / guitarist JD Simo, whose serious blues chops were showcased in the loud and raucous songs on the first album.
Continue reading Album Review : Simo – ‘Rise & Shine’


Review by Peter Coates

Brisbane band The Dustflowers belong somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line in the southern USA, with their first release ‘Get There’ a collection of 5 songs that are gritty hip-swinging blues-rockers with a country twist, or country-rock with some added soul! You can take your pick – whatever style you like, the songs are all class! Recorded on the Gold Coast at Blind Boy Studios, and produced by Brad Hosking, a well-known session player and producer, this EP is a great intro to an Aussie band with stacks of international appeal.
Continue reading Album Review : THE DUSTFLOWERS – GET THERE

Album Review : Sonny Landreth – Recorded Live In Lafayette

Another high quality and interesting release from Provogue / Mascot Label Group which is becoming something of a powerhouse for both established and up and coming blues artists of all persuasions. Clyde Vernon “Sonny” Landreth is a renowned slide guitarist, and “the King of Slydeco”, hailing from the deep south of the USA in Mississippi who has been based in Lafayette for many years . His background includes being part of both John Hiatt’s band and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, as well as featuring on both live and studio recordings with the likes of Marshall Crenshaw, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat and Mark Knopfler.
Continue reading Album Review : Sonny Landreth – Recorded Live In Lafayette

Album Review : SHAMAN’S HARVEST – Red Hands Black Deeds

Review by Peter Coates

There is a haunting menace to the vocal arrangement in the title track of this latest release from the Jefferson City, Missouri southern country alt-rockers Shaman’s Harvest…….a band I am ashamed to admit had passed me by until this, Red Hands Black Deeds, their 6 th studio album was promised for review.
Continue reading Album Review : SHAMAN’S HARVEST – Red Hands Black Deeds


Review by Peter Coates

This album has been something of a challenge to review…….and has required multiple listens over the last couple of weeks to be able to gather my thoughts sufficiently to write the review. This is purely because the album is so complex, stunningly diverse and wonderfully executed, that it cannot easily be pigeon-holed, and the musical influences so widespread that it is hard to know where to start.
Continue reading Album Review : THOMAS WYNN and THE BELIEVERS – WADE WAIST DEEP


Review by Peter Coates

ERIC GALES – MIDDLE OF THE ROAD (Mascot Label Group / Provogue)

“Now that’s how you start a riff” is spoken with feeling after the opening bar of Good Time which is a sparkling piece of gospel boogie that would not be out of place in a white clapboard church scene out in the US Midwest, featuring Eric Gales as the guitar-wielding preacher, and a the wailing back-up singing of his wife LaDonna Gales giving her all. There are some almost ridiculous testimonials being made about this guy, from the likes of Joe Bonamassa – “One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world”; Carlos Santana – “He is absolutely incredible” and Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge – “This guy could be the best player on Earth”. He was hailed as being the next Hendrix when he burst onto the scene in 1991 playing an upside down guitar left-handed.
Continue reading Album Review : ERIC GALES – MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

Album Review : Quinn Sullivan – “Midnight Highway”

Review by Peter Coates
Quinn Sullivan is another young blues guitarist, already classed as a “prodigy” at 17 years old by some fairly credible media (Rolling Stone and The Washington Post), and when Billy Gibbons reckons you have mastered the blues, and Buddy Guy says “Players like Quinn come along once in a lifetime” you get the idea that there could be something special about this guy.
Continue reading Album Review : Quinn Sullivan – “Midnight Highway”

Album Review : THUNDER – ‘Rip It Up’

Review by Peter Coates

It is sometimes hard to try and set aside the fact that I have been a fan of this band for nearly 35 years and listen to a new record with an objective viewpoint – from club shows as Terraplane, and then the arena support slots when they were the next great hope of British Rock, through to the farewell show in 1999, and the next goodbye in 2009, and the triumphant UK tour in 2015. I haven’t loved everything they’ve released, but I do like most of it! The last album, Wonder Days, was a mighty return to their absolute best, so following that up was always going to be a challenge.
Continue reading Album Review : THUNDER – ‘Rip It Up’