Alastair Greene: Dream Train Review

Earlier this year, Alastair Greene left the Alan Parsons Live Project to dedicate more time to his solo career. Now, Greene slides back onto the scene with Dream Train, his first studio album since 2014. Led by Greene’s guitar and vocals, Dream Train prominently features Jim Rankin’s Bass and Vocals and Austin Beede’s drumming while also showcasing guest performances from Walter Trout, Mike Finnigan, Dennis Gruenling, Debbie Davies, and Mike Zito. Dream Train shines as an example of what Blues can do.

Starting off with a song of the same title, Dream Train opens strong with sliding riffs and an eclectic energy that sets the tone for the rest of the album.  A few songs later, the album begins to show its hand with “Another Lie,” the most moving piece on the album from Greene’s pained vocals to the solos pervading throughout the song. Also notable, the pacing on Dream Train is extremely well-woven through the album.  After the emotional crescendos of “Another Lie,” Dream Train treats the listener to the gentle acoustic instrumental “Song for Rufus.”  This break allows the listener to recharge, making the next track, “I’m the Taker,” hit harder with its screaming, wah-pedal-driven solo.  While Alastair Greene’s guitar and vocals are the star of the show, it becomes apparent from “Dream Train” on that Austin Beede’s drumming should not be overlooked. From the upbeat snares on “Dream Train” to the gentle flourishes of the soulful “Another Lie” to the thumping bass drum on “Rain Stomp,” Beede keeps the listener swaying with drumming that, while never flashy, always serves the song.  

Dream Train never sounds bad during its 13-track setlist.  In fact, when Dream Train sounds good, it highlights exactly what we all like about blues, rock, and the intertwining therein. However, sometimes, tracks can sound a bit familiar and fail to feel fresh enough to call a unique sound.  

Dream Train is a nostalgic and satisfying foray into the classic southern blues style with enough catchy tunes, slick riffs, and head-bobbing rhythms.  While not totally perfect, Dream Train is more than worthwhile and rewards additional listens.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Dream Train
– Big Bad Wolf
– Song for Rufus
– I’m the Taker
– Another Lie

The Big Hit

– Another Lie

Review by Mark Hunstein

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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