Monday, June 27, 2016
BELOVED BLUES/ROCK BIKER LEGEND Delivers Delightful Acoustic Selections * CD REVIEW by Karla Darocas
Ever so humble but there is nothing better than some great Canadian music. Yes, the legendary blues / biker rock music superstar - Pat Savage is Canadian and together with his love of music and motorcycles has been a major force in the music world.
For the past 35 years or so, Pat Savage has performed with such musical legends such as Joe Cocker, Foghat, The Animals, Saxon, Savoy Brown, Matt Guitar Murphy, Albert Collins, Uli Van Roth, The Scorpions, Manfred Mann, Slade, Sweet, Uriah Heep, Steppenwolf, Molly Hatchett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, BB King, Georgia Satellites, Marshall Tucker Band, Grand Funk, Georgia Satellites, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jeff Healey and Colin James to name but a few.
Pat is now considered the “King Of Biker Music” by motorcycle press all over the world!
Back in 2003, SONY Europe offered Pat a lucrative deal to go to Europe to tour. He quickly moved over and toured Europe but found himself settling in Alicante!!
And, to bring this story into an even more home-based backbone, in 2015 Pat recorded a rootsy acoustic album whereby some of his harder rocking hits were softened and made more into a folkster style for the easy listening crowd.
Pat also brought in some of his new found musical European friends to back him up. One of those BFF’s is our CBBlues friend - Víctor Jordá who is not only a talented performer and founder of Alicante blues band - Medicine Man and the Alicante Blues Society - but he is also a gifted recording engineer. Victor is all over this album from playing instruments to backing vocals and of course recording and producing it. Go Victor Go!!
Other musician friends who contributed to this effort list like the United Nations like long time friend and bass player Peter Sid who hails from Amsterdam gave track 2, 3 6 and 7 their backbone.
Italian player - Max Arrigo offered up some great slide guitar on track 2 and again on track 10 with a Dobro that he bought specifically for this recording.
UK player Stevie Simpson bring light into track 2 with his amazing mandolin.
French national, Remi Boniface on the fiddle / violin does a kicking job on tracks 3, 4, 6 and 8.
Norway-based pianoman - Frode B. Sand can be appreciated on track 6.
From Spain, Pat had Victor Hernandez contribute on his standup bass on track 11 and Rafa Navas on bass guitar on tracks 8 and 10.
Savage Steel has 11 tracks. The engineering and production is clear and clean. Each song progresses nicely toward the next making it a very easy listing recording and as many critics have already said - it's the perfect music for that backyard BBQ and popping open some cold beer.
Opening track is called ON THE ROAD - again a tribute to his biker lifestyle opens with the sound of crickets - very atmospheric. Then a haunting harmonica breaks out sounding like a train in the distance. Nice use of percussion drives the chorus. There is a prelude to some Mexicanish style music in the midpoint. Pat’s voice is a smooth tone that fits with the storytelling. It all works as a carefree, freedom song with a touch of backing vocals at the end.
The next track is a Savage hit but sounds nothing like the original. RIDIN HARD AND LIVING FREE - on this acoustic album is sweet and slick. Nothing like the original electric grinding rock song it came from. Again a bikers tribute but a bit more uptempo and once again the harp player is blowing a ripping melody over Pats expert guitar playing and stylized vocals. UK player Stevie Simpson brings light into this arrangement with his amazing mandolin. It is almost sexy!!
One of the longer tracks on the album is called JIM DUMAS PONY RIDER and it is, as I would classify it, a western ballad. This style is perfect for Pat's vocals as he tells the story of this mailman. What stands out is the expert fiddle playing that moves the energy of the song. Great layering of vocals in the chorus. This could be music for movie soundtrack for a western being filmed at the studio in Almeria.
SATURDAY MORNING is a real vintage country ballad with all of the usual suspects of a man in redemption and loneliness in need of happiness and a good woman. Again, Pat’s vocals work with this genre. The fiddle has that high pitch that provokes the verses and the harmonica is full of sadness and almost whining or whimpering sound. I get this song would be a big hit at the Grand Ole Opry
MOUNTAIN DEW is a fun uptempo jangling southern rocky number that has some pretty fine slide guitar playing - a National Steel sounding honey-sweet and mesmerizing. I love that sound and this track has fun lyrics to boot.
My favourite track is HARLEY MAN - a slow walking blues number about - guess what? Again the harp is killer and Pat’s vocals are perfect for the blues. This is the Pat Savage that brought the house down in London, Ontario, Canada - oh so many moons ago!! And - wow - the guitar picking in the chorus is excellent as well.
The rest of the tracks I will leave for your discovery.
You can get this CD and a bunch of others for a special price from Pat’s website - so get your summer sorted and rip it up!!
PAT SAVAGE WEBSITE - CLICK HERE
OVERALL I think it is an honest recording full of fun positive songs, rambling rhythms, excellent musicianship and adventurous lyrics and tales. Each song is a pretty good parcel of memorable melodies that get stuck in your head.
I guess the only thing that I don’t like is the cover art. It is too dark for such a recording that is full of light.
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