Flood The Engine 2013
A low-profile supergroup stoke the blues and raise some steam.
The roots of this project go back to 1987 when singer Jimmy Kunes left SAVOY BROWN to drift into CACTUS, and guitarist Bill Leverty was in between two FIREHOUSE records: the pair bonded yet it took the two a couple of decades to give their friendship a sound. Released in 2010, their cover of BACK STREET CRAWLER’s “All The Girls Are Crazy” proved to be an attention-puller so, when bassist Keith Horne and drummer Andre LaBelle, a backline for an array of famous artists, joined the party, the collective engine started to rev melodically, and here’s the result.
“Lay It All On Me” may announce the wailing agenda in a slightly labored manner, but once “Change” cuts across the blues idiom the wheels get into full gear as the groove propels riffs and vocal drawl and raps towards a sonic paradise. So while the rhythm gets the better of tune in “All Your Trouble” with its four-string rumble and six-string picking and harmonic runs, the band’s swagger carries the message through. This means the sweet molasses of those “Girls” and another borrowed piece, Gary Wright’s “Love Is Alive”, can’t overshadow group’s originals which are at their best when the sheen – which floats to the funky, if mellifluous, surface in “You’re Not The Only One” – is kept to a minimum.
Still, “Bootstrap Blues” ties the knot so tight it’s impossible not to walk the walk. There’s a strut that takes a 45-second drum solo, slow and easy, at the beginning of “Open And Undone” in its stride: here’s a caressing roar to ride the moment as only the best motors do. Spill more guts to flood it, boys!