West of Flushing, South of Frisco
On the heels of Van Wilks’ outstanding new album comes another ass-kicking release of blues-rock.
“West of Flushing, South of Frisco” is the debut by Supersonic Blues Machine, an all-star trio made up of producer, mixer and bass player Fabrizio Grossi; drummer Kenny Aronoff; and guitarist/singer Lance Lopez — who, like Wilks, is based in Texas.
And like Wilks’ album “21st Century Blues,” SBM’s has a contribution from Billy Gibbons, in the form of “Running Whiskey.” But the ZZ Top guitarist/singer is just the tip of the guest-artist iceberg: Also on board are friends Warren Haynes, Chris Duarte, Eric Gales, Walter Trout and Robben Ford.
Except for the Gibbons-sung “Running Whiskey,” Lopez handles lead vocals, with help on one song each from Haynes and Trout. Grossi wrote or co-wrote all of the songs, save for a Bobby Blue Bland cover (“Ain’t No Love”) and a number by Joey Sykes, an L.A.-based guitarist who sometimes co-writes songs in Nashville (“Let’s Call It a Day”). Aronoff just basically pounds the hell out of the skins.
Augmenting the core trio on various cuts are Jimmy Zavala (harmonica), Serge Simic (acoustic guitar), Garrett Holbrook (lap steel), Sam Lusting (keyboards), Paolo Verdone (guitar), Sykes (guitar) and Phil Parlapiano (organ).
Lopez’s gruff voice serves the music well, sounding a bit like Captain Beefheart on opener “Miracle Man” and “Bone Bucket Blues.” Instrumentally, “I Ain’t Fallin’ ” sounds like a mashup of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Sly and the Family Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher.”
1. Miracle Man
2. I Ain’t Falling Again
3. Running Whiskey (feat. Billy Gibbons)
4. Remedy (feat. Warren Haynes)
5. Bone Bucket Blues
6. Let It Be
7. That’s My Way (feat. Chris Duarte)
8. Ain’t No Love (In The Heart Of The City)
9. Nightmares And Dreams (feat. Eric Gales)
10. Can’t Take It No More (feat. Walter Trout)
11. Whiskey Time (Running Whiskey’s extended ending)
12. Let’s Call It A Day (feat. Robben Ford)
Total time: 55:48