Su­per­sonic Blues Machine

Cal­i­for­nisoul

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Albums - Mal­colm Dome

This blues machine’s got soul.

They do like their big-name guests, eh? For the sec­ond Su­per­sonic al­bum, the trio have grabbed Eric Gales, Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, Wal­ter Trout and Billy Gib­bons. But

Cal­i­for­nisoul is so good that it does not rely on any heavy-duty con­tri­bu­tions from out­siders to make it one of the best bluesstyle al­bums of 2017.

Su­per­sonic Blues Machine have groove, soul and style. Fabrizio Grossi has the sort of voice that tells of late-night bars with too much of the rye pass­ing his lips, Lance Lopez plays gui­tar as if im­bued with the spirit of Ste­vie Ray Vaughan and Duane All­man, and Kenny Aronoff swings be­hind the drums.

Ev­ery track is one to savour, hav­ing a gospel twang mixed with a twist of gut­ter brio and a sense of il­licit melody.

Gib­bons adds his shuf­fle to Bro­ken Heart, while Gales wails in a highly ac­com­plished man­ner on El­e­vate, and Lukather broods on his gui­tar strings with Hard Times. But the best mo­ments are L.O.V.E. and The One, where it’s just the band laid bare with ut­most class and pre­ci­sion, but never sound­ing dis­ci­plined to the point of stran­gu­la­tion.

Sly Stone-meets-John Fogerty. Sim­ply ir­re­sistible.

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