Tony Spinner: Earth Music For Aliens Review

Tony Spinner says it best on his web site – “Earth Music For Aliens is for those of you that feel like you are one of the few who care for real music played by real musicians. An outcast or Alien. This band don’t dance or lip sync. In this band the music comes first above all the nonsense involved in the music business.”

Tony’s early influences include Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, and Muddy Waters, but you can also hear definite SRV and Rory Gallagher influences. Tony Spinner hails from NW Arkansas area and has been playing his particular brand of blues rock for quite a while now. This is his ninth solo effort and the fifth release on Grooveyard Records. You can also hear his work on LA Blues Authority tribute compilations to SRV and Albert King, along with a few Paul Gilbert albums, and live Toto albums from the late 90s and early 2000s. This time he teams up with the superb rhythm section of Michel Mulder on bass and Alex Steier on drums who are his regular tour band when he visits Europe.

Tony toured with Toto not only because of his serious pyrotechnic guitar skills but also because of his excellent vocal abilities, which are showcased throughout this album. Tony can efficiently throw the notes off the fretboard as quickly as anyone can; and it does not sound like a finger exercise. Every one of them is well chosen and fits his clean, clear, piercing tone. Highlights on this one include the energetic testament to love on the track “Best Friend,” the funky jams of the relationship ending “Let Her Go,” the humorous “Hot Mess,” and soulful distorted “Low Down Dirty Shame.” There is also the rockin’ blues of “Stop” and straight ahead rock of “Got What I Wanted” and “Dust and Ash.” “The Answer” is a groovy jam featured on the BRR4 sampler that has an interesting dual guitar attack between the rhythm and the lead guitar when Tony finally lets fly with a superb solo. “Good For Me” is a slow blues that is actually about a relationship that wasn’t good while “Free Now” is a slower acoustic tribute to the end of a relationship. Being from Arkansas there are a couple of songs with a distinct country picking underlying feel like “Missy Talk” and the tribute to life on the road of “It’s a Living.” Closing everything out is the straight up 12 bars blues of “No Good.”

There is an underlying feeling when you listen to him that Tony is just up there to have fun. That he truly enjoys just digging deep for the listener when he’s playing and that passion and fun loving attitude to his music comes across loud and clear. If you are reading this then you most likely share that passion for good music and qualify under Tony’s definition of “Alien” in which case this is one definitely worth picking up.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– The Answer
– Best Friend
– Low Down Dirty Shame
– Dust and Ash
– Good For Me

The Big Hit

– Low Down Dirty Shame

Review by Kevin O’Rourke

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

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