dAr­reLL hiGhAm

Hell’s Ho­Tel

Guitar Techniques - - REVIEWS -

From the mo­ment his Gretsch’s Bigsby dips the first slap-back chord on the ti­tle track opener, you know what you’re in for here. Pre­vi­ously with Imelda May’s band and hav­ing worked with Jeff Beck many times, Higham is a great rock­a­billy and blues gui­tarist and a fine rock and roll singer. With no track longer than 3:37 they flash past, each pro­vid­ing a great modern take on a genre beloved of Dar­rell. Shades of The Stray Cats per­me­ate things and that’s never a bad thing. Turn Around And Go (with Imelda May sing­ing har­monies) kicks along, Dar­rell’s guitar just on the edge of dis­tor­tion. When You Smile, in­spired by he and May’s daugh­ter, fea­tures a great pi­ano solo from Jools Hol­land fol­lowed by Higham’s Hank-meets-Chuck solo, while In Sum­mer (the old Cliff Richard song) gets a re­fresh­ing makeover. Nearer To A Love is a clas­sic a rock and roll torch song, while My Old Friend is a hy­brid-picked rhythm fest with a won­der­ful rock­a­billy break. Robert Plant of­fers a su­perb vo­cal on the fi­nal track and Jools re­joins the ac­tion, with Higham’s hottest solo yet. It’s his best al­bum to date, and we look for­ward to see­ing him take it on the road!

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