Reviews this month include: Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Rusty Cooley and Aynsley Lister.
eyes WIde open Straight Talkin’ Records ✪ ✪ ✪✪ ✪
Lister’s eighth studio album sees him at the top of his game. Eyes Wide Open grabs you in, from All Of Your Love’s opening riff to the final note of Hold You To It. Lister’s music brims with blues – his influences are all the usual British and American suspects – but his music is so much more, with hooky choruses, beefy riffs and emotive vocals. Everything I Have To Give is Peter Green meets Albert King on steroids, with organ backing and horns – but watch out for Lister’s big solo at the end. Won’t Be Taken Down’s descending arpeggio-fuelled chord sequence and huge guitar sound is blues-rock at his best. Aynsley really knows how to shape a solo, when to hold back and when to step on the gas – just listen to Kalina’s epic bridge pickup solo. No duff tracks or fillers here, and although packed with great playing from start to finish it’s never ‘guitar solo for guitar solo’s sake’. With fine songs, a top-notch band, powerful production and a mix of great tones this is British blues at its finest, but with a catchy rock edge. Eyes Wide Open really is up there with the best.