Bryce Janey has been playing professionally since 13 as a member of The Janey’s which also featured his father on guitar and mother on drums. This is his 8th solo disc. Though his albums run the gamut from straight up acoustic blues to blues rock. Game of Life delivers 11 tracks that land squarely in the blues rock territory.
The album quickly sucks you in with the first track, “Down Home Blues,” which starts out with a little acoustic dobro riff that quickly adds a hard driving electric guitar and pays tribute to the foundation laid by the early blues musicians upon which today’s blues rock is built. This is followed up by the working man’s complaint about being “Kicked Like a Dog.” Bryce peppers the whole song with fills and has a great solo in the middle all while singing about working hard and never getting ahead. “In Your Kitchen” is filled with double entendres like the lyric about how his baby “always saves the best piece for me.”
While most of the album is originals penned by Janey, there are a couple of covers included. Through ZZ Top’s “Waiting for the Bus” and the Allman Brothers “Come and Go Blues,” Bryce pays homage to two of his obvious influences while still managing to make the tracks uniquely his own. While not a cover, “Flying High on Your Love” also shows a heavy dose of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top’s influence.
The title track ‘Game of Life” is a funky shuffle which incorporates an interesting guitar effect. Basically a portion of the song played backward to start the song off. The album closes out with “Faithfully.” This track is filled with an interesting layering of guitars. The outstanding solos scattered though the song ties it all together to make for a beautiful song; especially when you listen to the message of strength and commitment despite heartbreak in the lyrics.
Even though he’s a young man from whom we should see many more albums, Game of Life gives the impression of a man who has been around a lot longer. His world class guitar skills and the unique timber of his voice just serve to reinforce that impression.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Down Home Blues
– Game of Life
– Waiting for the Bus
– Come and Go Blues
The Big Hit
– Down Home Blues
Review by Kevin O’Rourke