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Friss, Bobby - 1988 Cut Loose

ARTIST: Friss, Bobby
ALBUM: Cut Loose
LABEL: King Trax
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Bobby Friss - vocals, guitars * Mike Locke - guitars * Dean Mickey - bass * Leroy Myers - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 You Can't Come Back * 02 Suzie Darlin' * 03 Just Another Rock And Roll Night * 04 Memory Girl * 05 I Will Haunt You * 06 Runaway Train * 07 No More Lonely Nights * 08 Runnin' Back * 09 Long Way Down

One of the hardest working bands from the southeastern parts of the US are the Bobby Friss Band. Bobby has been in the biz for years. 1975 in fact was when he got his first shot with the Michigan based band Force, though his career really took off when he returned to his homestate of Florida in 1985. This debut album 'Cut Loose' is in fact a compilation of Bobby's best work during that ten year period, and most of the songs include a varied cast of players (too many to name here), apart from those listed above, plus a special appearance from blues hard rocker Pat Travers who appears on several tracks. Vocally, Bobby operates in the same territory as a guy like Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), so you know where the music is centered.

The Songs
One of Bobby's signature songs is the opening track 'You Can't Come Back'.. a light hearted romp about how to end a soured relationship permanently. Travers blazes his way on the solos. Good fun stuff! Check out 'Suzie Darlin' for some lovely radio rock a la Henry Lee Summer - an infectious wee ditty for sure and great for radio. 'Just Another Rock and Roll Night' is a flashback to 1976 era Boston. Even the guitar lines are miraculously stolen, as are the patented hand-claps! lol. Great stuff! The acoustic ballad 'Memory Girl' warms the heart, Bobby's vocals carrying it off with ease. 'Runaway Train' is an upbeat rocker brimming with bluesy energy and slide guitar antics from Bobby. 'No More Lonely Nights' is another ballad that's a bit more syrupy than 'Memory Girl'. The album highlight for me is the pure AOR drive of 'Runnin' Back', followed by the strident 'Long Way Down', ending the album as if dashing for the finish line rather than the usual whimper we see elsewhere.

In Summary
For nine tracks, they are all worth having a good listen, and cranking up on your stereo on a summers day, which is what I've been doing! Bobby followed this up with the 'Fate' album in 1989, and an interview in the UK AOR mag Boulevard which helped spread his profile globally. It must've worked, because I ended up buying this CD back then. More or less the same lineup are still together to this day, with the exception of Locke who had been replaced by the legendary Jerry Riggs (Riggs, Pat Travers Band). 2003 will see a new round of tour dates all over the US, predominantly in the southern states.. lets see if we can entice Bobby and Jerry to spend some time in the studio during their off-season (if they have one that is!). Wouldn't that be something?

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