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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Chris Spedding

Joyland

Review by Gary Hill

This album has a lot of guest performers. It has about as many different styles and moods, too. The guitar playing is classy throughout. Of course, Chris Spedding is known for his guitar expertise so that makes sense. I suppose the best way to describe this, though, is a fun ride through the amusement park called “Joyland.”

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Joyland with Ian McShane
As this comes in, it reminds me a little of modern Rush. The spoken words make me think of The Moody Blues. The cut works through in style. It’s got a sung chorus as counterpoint to those spoken vocals. There is a bit an old time rock and roll element at play, too.
Now You See It with Arthur Brown
There’s a bit of David Bowie meets The Talking Heads vibe here. Of course, Arthur Brown is always Arthur Brown. This is a harder rocking number, with some hints of AC/DC.
Café Racer with Glen Matlock
There’s almost a surf guitar kind of vibe to this. It’s definitely laced with Americana. It’s a hard rocking instrumental jam that’s very cool.
Gun Shaft City with Bryan Ferry
With a stripped back arrangement, this has a blues roots rock vibe to it.
Heisenberg with Johnny Marr

I love the cool old time country rock vibe to this. It’s an instrumental that’s classy and classic. It definitely has that surf rock sound, too. Think “Dick Dale.”

I Still Love You with Robert Gordon
I’m not crazy about this one. It sort of feels like a lounge lizard track that combines Tom Jones with Elvis. It just feels kind of over the top.
The Pied Piper with Andy Mackey
This is another one that I don’t like the much. The vocals kind of ruin this one for me, too. There is some cool slide guitar, though. In fact, the musical arrangement, with different vocals, would be pretty good.
Go Down South with Steve Parsons
Hard rocking sounds are the order of business here. This is very much a roots rock kind of jam that’s got a lot of energy and a great groove.
Shock Treatment with Andy Fraser
This one is bouncy and fun. It’s a little odd, but also quite classy.
I’m Your Sin with Lane
There is a lot of country built into this rocker. It’s really a southern rocker. The vocals are a duet.
Message for Stella with Steve Parsons
With a lot of rockabilly in the mix, this is high energy and pretty catchy.
Boom Shakka Boom
This groovy rocker has a lot going for it. It’s quite retro in style and delivery.

 

 
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