Indie Blues CD Review
Rip Cat Records
Alastair Greene is from southern California. Influenced by seventies guitarists, especially Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughan, he found work backing artists like James Harman. Greene recorded his own rockin’ debut “A Little Wiser” in 2001. His follow up live album “Bootleg: Live in LA” was released in 2003. Greene has appeared on albums by Alan Parsons, Aynsley Dunbar, Mitch Kashmar and Frank Goldwasser. In 2009 Greene released “Walking in Circles”. Greene became the guitarist in Alan Parsons’ touring band in 2010. Greene’s last album was 2014’s “Trouble At Your Door” on Eclecto Groove, a subsidiary of Delta Groove Records, produced by himself and Executive Producer Randy Chortkoff.
This is Greene’s seventh album overall. The Alastair Greene Band includes Greene, guitar and vocals; Jim Rankin, bass; and Austin Beede, drums. A seasoned veteran Greene usually writes all of his own songs; on this new album he wrote all but one. The album is produced by David Z whose production credits include Gov’t Mule and Buddy Guy.
Opening with the energetic title track, “Dream Train”, one can’t help but notice Greene’s vocal clarity as he sings “I never was a gamblin’ man…dream train take me away”. The rhythm section lays down the foundation that enables Greene’s fabulous slide solo.
On “Big Bad Wolf” Greene establishes the rhythm on his guitar before soloing, “That big bad wolf won’t go away”. This is blues rock the way it should be played. “Nome Zayne” was written by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
Special guests Walter Trout, guitar; and Mike Finnegan, organ; add to the excitement on “Another Lie”. Greene plays an acoustic guitar on the beautiful instrumental “Song For Rufus”. Rufus was Greene’s feline buddy, a pretty cool cat. “I’m A Taker” includes an extended guitar solo.
“Daredevil”…“there you are standing on the ledge”. Finnegan plays organ again with Dennis Gruenling sitting in on harmonica. Rankin’s bass sounds great as it’s upfront in the mix.
Guitarist Debbie Davies guests on the instrumental “Grateful Swagger” and she and Greene sound great together. “Rain Stomp”…”I ain’t seen rain for 350 days…the grounds so dry it’ll make a rattlesnake weep and moan”. Once again Greene’s slide sounds great.
“Iowa” is dedicated to the memory of Green’s grandmother. Beede’s drum beats are perfect as they contrast with Greene’s evocative guitar and Finnigan’s organ.
Mike Zito, guitar; guests on “Down to Memphis” while the closer, track thirteen, is “Lucky 13 …natural born queen”.
In the dedications Greene thanks the late Chortkoff who believed in him. Now we are all believers.
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