It’s a wonder Dave Fields has had any time at all to make his own records. The New York guitarist/vocalist/producer has been quite busy over the years. Besides being a studio musician when called upon, he’s worked alongside greats like producer/executive Ahmet Ertegun. He’s a New York Blues Hall of Fame member with enough awards to fill a paragraph on their own. And he has worked with many musical greats, including U2, Aretha Franklin, The Drifters, Lenny Kravitz, Sean Lennon, and Hubert Sumlin, to name just a few. That’s mere bits and pieces of his salient credits for the unaware, so let’s move forward and talk about how good this record is.
Force of Will is the sixth album from blues rocker Dave Fields. He tears it up throughout the nine originals and one collaborative effort with interesting tonal variations and styles. The album increases in diversity and explosiveness as it progresses. That’s pretty neat in itself, as not many records do that. “I Love My Baby” opens the album with a snappy guitar riff done in Dave’s gritty yet bright tone. It complements the song’s joyful message of love. “Big Block” speeds up the engine into a bluesy jaunt. Fields gets down and dirty with all-encompassing lead and slide work in this mostly instrumental excursion. “Why Can’t You Ever Treat Me Right” is a slow blues with emotional vocals and fine lead guitar work in that signature grit and brightness Dave is known for. “Force of Will” is a steady driving rocker that fully exploits Field’s flamboyant performance. It’s easily understood why it’s the title song of the album, as it rocks to the max! “Chloe and Otis” takes a turn into a funky area.
But just when you think you know everything Force of Will has going on, you’re taken by surprise with a magical minute and thirty-seven second excursion into “Delmar.” Notice the Floyd-ish seagull that jumps out at you within this exuberant instrumental. Then comes “Jack Ham Her,” another astonishing guitar fronted instrumental, this one in a Jeff Beck-like realm. Fields gets some really nice sound and tone out of his Fodera guitar here. This exuberantly motivated album ends with a thumping and driving “Best I Can.”
Force of Will is full out forces of Dave Fields, imaginative and epic. It has it all. Exciting guitar oriented blues rock comes at you from every angle.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Force of Will
– Jack Ham Her
– Big Block
– I Love My Baby
The Big Hit
– Force of Will