ARTIST: Perry, Joe
ALBUM: Have Guitar Will Travel
LABEL: Roman Records
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Joe Perry - vocals, guitars * Hagen - vocals * David Hull - bass * Paul Santo - keyboards, organ * Ben Tilletson, Scott Meeder, Marty Richards, Willie 'Loco' Alexander - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 We've Got A Long Way To Go * 02 Slingshot * 03 Do You Wonder * 04 Somebody's Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked In Tonite) * 05 Heaven And Hell * 06 No Surprise * 07 Wooden Ships * 08 Oh Lord (21 Grams) * 09 Scare The Cat * 10 Freedom
A few months back, Aerosmith
's Steve Tyler suffered a mishap when he fell from a stage platform at a gig in Sturgis, South Dakota, forcing the band off the road. Not one for sitting back and watching the daisies grow, guitarist Joe Perry shifted gear and moved into Plan B, resurrecting his solo career again, and though not quite the Joe Perry Project
, his new album 'Have Guitar Will Travel' more than reminisces those good old days when his music definitely did the talking. Joe has his own recording studio (BoneYard), and it was there during the Northern Hemisphere spring that the tracks for this album were recorded. In the same way that Neal Schon
found new Journey
singer Arnel Pineda singing cover tracks on YouTube, Joe's wife Billie also found success in the same manner, identifying German singer Hagen, who sings on 'Have Guitar Will Travel'. The blend of Joe's voice and Hagen's throughout the album provides a contrast, not unlike the way that Perry and Tyler have interacted over the last decade or so, but on this ship, Perry is the one in command.
When in a solo situation, Joe has always preferred to sound different to Aerosmith
, and here the slide guitar is thrust into the front seat as a point of difference. It's back to basics mainly, though the lead-off single from the album 'We've Got A Long Way To Go' throws off a series of sucker punches as it powers up to a fast tempoed and energetic level with a bouncy vibe. 'Slingshot' is a rambly blues number with a slight rockabilly edge, whereas 'Do You Wonder' has that wide eyed panoramic vista dominating the sound, sort of like a combination between Aerosmith
and Tom Cochrane/Red Rider
. Perry raises merry hell with 'Somebody's Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked In Tonite)', a fun time romp, which again has that 60's blues theme coarsing through. 'Heaven And Hell, at 7 plus minutes is the longest track here. The intro is full of ray-gun sound effects (Steve Stevens
anyone?), and though the track has its moments, the vocals sound very muffled here. Joe's interest in the Metaphysical is the apparent inspiration for this song. 'No Surprise' (no, not a rehash of the track on 'A Night At The Ruts') is standard stuff from Joe with some interesting (what sounds like) vocoder effects. Guitar legend Les Paul
who passed away earlier this year is the recipient of a tribute on the instrumental 'Wooden Ships', while a nod in the direction of traditional blues is the catalyst for 'Oh Lord (21 Grams)'. For the final two tracks, Joe goes out in a blaze of fire, as 'Scare The Cat' and 'Freedom' are both solid guitar rockers, the latter in particular is the closest he gets to his 'Project' days.
Perhaps not as rip-snorting as Joe's previous 'Project' releases, it goes to show that beyond Aerosmith
, there is still life in the ol' sea dog yet. In fact, some of you may find his solo material far more palatable than the big 'A', at least you have a choice when it all comes down to it. Joe is undertaking a series of small gigs around the NE of the USA, so if you're lucky to catch him at a gig, you'll be hearing most of these songs no doubt.
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