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Red White And Blues - 'Shine' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/72/c1/cd/1831_RedWhiteAndBluesShine_1325532518.jpg Hot

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A stunning debut album, packed with superbly crafted, deluxe classic rock.

An act that has been on my radar since inception, this is a new group comprising two former colleagues - Skin guitarist Myke Gray and Swedish vocalist Matti Alfonzetti, who worked together in Myke's pre-Skin act Jagged Edge. They made a solid EP and a terrific album 'Fuel For Your Soul' together, before going their separate ways. Myke forged ahead with the successful and beloved Skin, while Matti continued to record with acts like Skin Trade, as well as issuing solo albums (the latest of which is out this very month) and making a name for himself as a producer.

When Skin decided to bid farewell, Matti was invited to support them and he and Myke began jamming acoustically backstage. Myke had rediscovered his love for the guitar and had been prolifically writing some new material. There was chemistry still present between he and Matti, and Red White And Blues were born.

The material is varied, but excellent, classic rock - with elements of Skin, alongside nods to acts like AC/DC, the bluesier feel of early Whitesnake and Bad Company - it's simply quality stuff with Myke's distinctive guitar alongside Alfonzetti's voice (sounding better than it ever did with Jagged Edge) working perfectly together. Opening track 'Stand Up' is an absolute pearler, straight out of the blocks and tailor-made to start off any concert with the right vibe. You can hear the pacy 'Shame, Shame' on our cover CD, which precedes 'Rescue Me' which boasts a glorious chorus. The band also has an eponymous track ala Bad Company, a pounding bluesy number which demonstrates what great quality Matti now has in his voice.

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A testament to the strength of the songs is that the band whittled their initial stockpile down to fifteen tracks, and planned to put eleven on the album. They couldn't decide which ones to ditch, so asked a trio of people to help select which ones to cut. I was one of these and extremely privileged to be asked: but the task was virtually impossible. I tried my very best and felt bad for the ones nominated to be cut. Apparently this was a common problem, because the band ended up selecting fourteen of the fifteen instead, and it in no way weakens the record!

Comprised of Myke, Matti and session drummer Che Beresford, 'Shine' is a superb album of quality hard rock. Red White And Blues has been out playing live (and are sometimes joined by Skin vocalist Neville MacDonald, who, when he harmonises with Matti, sounds utterly amazing) and they have already played Hyde Park with Bon Jovi, opened for Steel Panther, toured with the Quireboys and secured an upcoming support slot with Whitesnake. The band is self-releasing the album (see my interview with Myke elsewhere for the reason why) and they could do with your support. Go and buy it from www.theredwhiteandblues.com - you'll be rewarded with a copy of a stunning debut album, packed with superbly crafted, deluxe classic rock.

James Gaden

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