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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Whitford St Holmes - 1981 Whitford St Holmes
Whitford St Holmes - 1981 Whitford St Holmes

ARTIST: Whitford St Holmes
ALBUM: Whitford St Holmes
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2001, Columbia, CK 66986 * 2004, Sony (Japan), MHCP 335


LINEUP: Derek St Holmes - vocals, guitar * Brad Whitford - guitars * Dave Hewitt - bass * Steve Pace - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Need Love * 02 Whiskey Woman * 03 Hold On * 04 Sharpshooter * 05 Every Morning * 06 Action * 07 Shy Away * 08 Does It Really Matter? * 09 Spanish Boy * 10 Mystery Girl

Quite forgotten is this one off collaboration between then ex Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and Derek St Holmes, who was fresh off a stint as Ted Nugent's vocalist and 1979's St Paradise project, a patchy hard rock effort at best. Much more inspired was this set, musically reminiscent of the late 70's but still fresh enough for the early 80's. It managed various moments of inspiration that as expected conjured up sounds similar to that of Nugent and Aerosmith themselves, perhaps more listenable than that pair in the same timeframe, especially Aerosmith's 'Night In the Ruts'. Whitford had followed in Joe Perry's footsteps in abandoning Aerosmith's guitar duo following due to band turmoil, similar to Holmes problems with Nugent. Sharing the same management made the pairing a simple decision, and rounding out the esteemed lineup was ex Babe Ruth bassist Hewitt, while Pace had done time with southern rockers Hydra.

The Songs
No frills and gimmick free rock and roll is the order of the day, recalling the glory years of both men's previous bands. In reality this was the kind of material most would have preferred to hear both playing with their former acts but this was as good a vehicle as any for some old fashioned hard rock. Title's such as 'Sharpshooter' and 'Whiskey Woman' tell the story as what to expect and the former is certainly the heaviest workout, superb axe work from both, with Holmes coming off as Steven Tyler at moments. 'Shy Away' is highly melodic, but any traces of commercial AOR do not exist here, almost a rarity as most toyed with it in the early 80's. Elsewhere is the driving 'Mystery Girl', almost a slash between metal and boogie, and the riff heavy antics of 'Spanish Boy' and its dynamic guitar solo. 'Hold On's commercial hook is tempered by some exqusite blues licks, backed by the raw rock of 'Whiskey Woman', traditional twelve bar hard rock, simple but convincing. Party rock is one way to describe the fierce 'Action', moving furiously and on equal footing with the best of AC/DC and Krokus in the boogie stakes.

In Summary
Exceptional one off album, and could possibly have resulted in further releases had Holmes opted not to rejoin Ted Nugent a year later, only to leave bitterly again shortly after. Whitford soon rejoined Aerosmith, therefore sealing the bands fate. Pace of course played with Krokus on 'Headhunter', and I often wonder why he wasn't held onto by the Swiss bunch, as his drumming brilliance was proven time and again, here also. Holmes has talked of reuniting this lineup for another album but that seems highly unlikely. If that mircale did occur it would probably be some farcical modern rock debacle instead of the glorious hard rock that makes this indeed a classic one time only special of its kind.

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#1 | sabace on June 21 2007 17:44:03
completely underrated a great lp by two giants of the rock world!
#2 | gdazegod on May 11 2012 22:30:13
Surely this is another RC contender?
#3 | rkbluez on June 24 2012 20:44:59
Rock Candy really needs to do this one...Derek St. Holmes doesn't even know why it's not available and OOP...forget the downloads this needs a full blown CD reissue.
#4 | sabace on September 06 2012 09:48:01
this is available on a japanese cd
#5 | bpdp3 on May 25 2016 02:39:46
Could care less about the pedigree of either gentleman... When they recorded 'don't shy away' they pretty much raised the bar as high as it can go... Love that track! A song that FORCED me to become a fan of AOR when I first heard it in a friends mixtape.
#6 | gdazegod on June 16 2016 02:25:19
This album is now part of the Mailboat Records issue of 'Reunion', as a two CD package. Refer the link in the 'Reunion' review.
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