Indonesia you say? Gugun Power Trio proves that the appeal of blues rock is worldwide. Solid Ground is their second release on Grooveyard records and it delivers some top notch funky blues rock. A group formed to play covers on the local tourist bar circuit has evolved into a crank up the volume worthy band. There are other releases by the same group out there as Gugun and the Bluesbug and Gugun Blues Shelter.
Gugun is the lead singer and guitarist for this group and he can deliver the goods. There is a clear connection to Jimmy and Tommy Bolin evidenced by the old school rock orientation of this album. The album tries to branch out into other sounds but it never strays too far from the straight-up in your face groovy guitar assault.
The album opens up with the synchronized patterned bass and guitar lines of Gugun and bass player, Jono, on the track “Solid Ground” accompanied by the funky drumming of Bowie. This group is truly a power trio. The funk continues with “One Heavy Night” as Gugun sings about the aftermath of a great night out. “Vixen Eyes” turns on the little distortion and some echo effect which result in a great solo over another groovy rhythm. Everything slows down for “Trampled Rose” where a beautiful melody, slow blues, and some fluid guitar work combine to create one cool ballad.
“I’m Juicy” is a fun song that makes a very short interesting use of the wha-wha pedal for the rhythm guitar at the break in the middle of the song. Still don’t quite understand the lyrics, but the song is great. The Tommy Bolin connection is front and center in Marching Strut, an obvious tribute which combines the best elements of Tommy’s songs “Marching Powder” and “Homeward Strut” into one song. Look up the component tracks and give them a listen, then you’ll understand. For something really different make sure you let the disc run out and catch the hidden track at the end.
Solid Ground lays a foundation for the Gugun Power Trio to continue to build on. Gugun is a fantastic guitar player who truly proves that good music and great players defy socio-politic-economic borders.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Solid Ground
– One Heavy Night
– Vixen Eyes
– Trampled Rose
– I’m Juicy
The Big Hit
– Vixen Eyes
Review by Kevin O’Rourke