Scotty Bratcher has been hanging around in the shadows for a while supporting other artists as a session musician for many people, working for bluesman Jimmy Hall, and as a member of Noah Hunt’s 420 Allstars. The spotlighted black and white picture on the cover of That Album of Bratcher in profile wind-milling away on his guitar proclaims that he’s not here to stand in the shadows anymore. Scotty has put together a raucous ride of guitar bliss that runs the gamut from in your face anthemic Southern rock to some classic foot tappin’ blues. Do not assume that this is just a guitar pyrotechnic album. Scotty’s voice is first rate also.
Let’s start with the three powerhouse tracks that light the fuse on this album. “Ain’t No Way I’m Coming Home” combines his searing guitar work with some really well played organ. The opening riff of “Disappointing Ourselves” clearly establishes that this track is a no apologies rock song and has a great vibe that will have everyone bouncing in their seats. Just when you’re thinking how much more rock can you take, “Worry Me No More” comes blasting out of the speakers and delivers some more.
Next up is the precautionary tale told in “Tables Turn and Bridges Burn,” which is a thick Southern Rock track where Scotty’s voice shines. A beautifully done piano solo breaks up “Hard to Feel” and then things finally slow down for the ballad of “Without Hope” where again Scotty’s voice shines once again.
Just when you think this is just going to be a straight up rock show, a cover of “That’s Alright Mama” gives you a dose of funky blues along with a guest vocal from Jimmy Hall. Noah Hunt from the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band steps up to the mic on “Let Your Soul Give Way,” which sounds like it could be a Hendrix Outtake. “Cold Blooded Killer” has some funky organ work that underpins the lyrics. The dynamic emotions of a lost love are captured in the restrained ballad verses of “All and Nothing More,” which is offset by the powerful chorus and emotional guitar solo.
Some energetic blues makes a comeback on “Rollin,’” which includes a smooth slide solo from Greg Martin of Rufus Huff and the Kentucky Headhunters. Then the album wraps up with two covers. First, the Albert King blues classic “As The Years Go Passing By” where the influence of the late Gary Moore’s version is clearly evident. Second, we are treated to an acoustic rendition of the Allman Brother’s “Whippin’ Post” to close things out.
Scotty has been at this for a while now picking up the guitar at age two, watching SRV on ACL at age four and finally playing gigs around his native Cincinnati starting at age 11. With the rock solid rhythm section of Don Connaughton on bass and Shawn Wells on the drums on this album, Scotty delivers a scorcher that puts everyone on notice that he’s here to firmly plant his name alongside the modern greats like Bonamassa and KWS.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Disappointing Ourselves
– Worry Me No More
– That’s Alright Mama
– Let Your Soul Give Way
The Big Hit
– Disappointing Ourselves
Review by Kevin O’Rourke