After a series of albums with W.I.N.D, Jimi Barbiani has stepped out on his own and gives us his second solo album Blue Slide. Jimi’s band consists of Daniele Vicario (Bass) and Gianluca Zavan (Drums) and while a whole host of different vocalists contribute to the CD, Jimi’s proficient slide guitar skills do the communication for him.
This collection of songs rolls out of the station with the instrumental “Ten O’Clock Train.” Like the songs namesake it chugs along with that familiar driving beat reminiscent of a locomotive provided by the tight rhythm section while Jimi rocks it up and down the fretboard. Next we get the dirty boogie of “Sixty Nine,” which was co-written and sung by Johnny Neel (keyboard player with The Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule). “Angel of Mercy” is a straight up rocker with a southern vibe and that some great harmonica playing provided by Gianni Massarutto. Meanwhile soulful vocals are provided by Piero Pattay who we will also hear from again when everything slows down on the ballad “Do Not Lie To Me.”
Things get really interesting though when we get to an excellent cover of Freddie King’s “Going Down.” Alessio Velliscic lends his voice to this one and he is a perfect fit this rocking version of a classic. You will not want this track to end but it is unfortunately it is just too short. So you will find yourself putting this track on repeat and listening to it again and again. A longer version of this would make it a shoe in for The Big Hit. Things slow down considerably after that with the plaintive instrumental “Sad Soul.”
A little trip to Texas is next with a cover of “La Grange,” which pits Jimi’s slide work against the excellent harmonica playing of Gianni again. Piero returns to sing again for “Can’t Ask for More,” which has Jimi’s slide guitar crying away behind the vocals. We get another shot of southern tinged rock courtesy of Cameron Williams from the band Tishamingo who provides the vocals for “Aint’ But One of Two Ways” that he also helped write. Everything wraps up with a cover of the Magic Sam instrumental “Looking Good.”
Slide guitar is really unique to the blues. Having been made popular very early on in blues music by the likes of the Blind Willes Johnson and McTell, Son House and even the great Robert Johnson. From there many rock bands adopted it over the years notably by Duane Allman and even in the modern day by Jack White. Even listeners who claim not to be a fan of slide guitar should pick up Jimi Barbiani’s Blue Slide. It is an impressive album featuring some tremendous slide guitar playing that rocks with a blues influence. Take a moment and watch the video below for live version of “Ten O’Clock Train” that’s from a forth coming Grooveyard Live CD/DVD.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Angel of Mercy
– Ain’t But One of Two Ways
– Going Down
– Do Not Lie to Me
The Big Hit
– Ain’t But One of Two Ways
Review by Kevin O’Rourke