August 29, 2010
GUITARS, BEERS & TEARS
Following years of providing stellar fretwork for iconic groups such as Humble Pie and Bad Company, Dave "Bucket" Colwell has stepped out to showcase his talents as a world class writer/guitarist with a rock solid, debut solo disc. Colwell has enlisted quite a cast of heavy friends to contribute to his record, including IRON MAIDEN's Adrian Smith, Edwin McCain, Steve Conte from the NEW YORK DOLLS, THE QUIREBOYS' Spike, Danny Bowes from THUNDER, Bekka Bramlett and BAD COMPANY's Robert Hart.
For listeners who have bemoaned the lack of visceral, contemporary hard rock with a melodic edge, Bucket and Co. are coming to the rescue with Guitars, Beers and Tears.
This is a fantastic set.
Opening with a brief, swelling keyboard line that gives a nod to the salad days of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, the title track wastes no time getting to business. Kicking in with salvos of scorched earth policy riffing, the tone is set perfectly. Guitars and beers often go hand in glove, though the only tears here will be those of joy as this marks the beginning of a banquet laden with fist-pumping anthems interspersed with very pleasant surprises.
Despite the presence of multiple lead vocalists, Colwell's vision of a big, unashamed rock record remains intact and not one iota of continuity or momentum is lost. His personality shines through in the writing and is never submerged at any point in the proceedings. Formidable skills in the guitar department allow him to light up each cut, with impeccable and tasteful playing being the rule rather than the exception.
Graciously, he chooses to shine the spotlight on his guests as much as possible. The presence of Adrian Smith is strongly felt, with a brilliant recasting of "Reach Out" (which was the flip side to Maiden's "Wasted Years" single). Smith acquits himself quite well in the role of lead vocalist, while the band burns behind him. Very much a highlight of the pack. Speaking of which, my personal favorite here is "Life" which is built on a strong hook, features great changes and is topped by a passionate vocal from Danny Bowes. Running a close second is "Hey Mr. Nobody" which is the lone tune that features Bucket himself singing lead. It's a pity that he didn't take the opportunity for more mic time as he turns in a great performance.
Harking back to a time when the music sold itself, without recourse to artificial spectacle, Bucket and Co. put craftsmanship ahead of all other consideration to great effect.
All of the components that make a successful end product are present on Guitars, Beers and Tears, with top class production being the icing on a very satisfying, layered cake. Listeners will feel compelled to give the volume a healthy nudge toward the sky (as I did) and revel in the pleasure of one spectacular rock record.
Find out more about the artist and grab yourself a copy of the CD here
Let's now give credit where it's due:
Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell Guitars/Vocals
Jaz Lochrie Bass/Vocals
Gary ‘Harry’ James Drums
Guitars, Beers & Tears (Colwell)
Vocals - Chris Ousey
Girl of My Dreams (Colwell)
Vocals - Spike (The Quireboys) Keyboards - Mark Read (A1)
Make Up Your Mind (Colwell/Adrian Smith)
Guitar/Vocals - Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)
Somebody To Love (Colwell/Tommy Lee James)
Vocals - Robert Hart (Bad Company)
Why You Call (Colwell)
Vocals - Edwin McCain Sax - Andy Hamilton Keyboards - Mark Read
If You Need Me (Colwell)
Guitar/Vocals - Steve Conte (NY Dolls)
Reach Out (Cowell)
Vocals - Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)
I’d Lie To You (Frankie Miller)
Vocals - Spike (The Quireboys) Backing Vocals - Bekka Bramlett
Vocals - Edwin McCain Harmonica - Judd Lander
Life (Colwell/J. Leo)
Vocals - Danny Bowes (Thunder) Keyboards - Mark Read
Why Can’t It Be (Colwell)
Vocals - Seth Romano
Mr. Nobody (Colwell)
Vocals - Dave Colwell Backing Vocals - Lauren Harris
by Sean Coleman