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Simon McBride - 'Since Then' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d3/9b/d8/888_SimonMcBrideSinceThen_1293139030.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 23, 2010    
 
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An excellent sophomore release.

At the tender age of fifteen Northern-Irish blues-rock guitarist Simon McBride won the ‘Young guitarist of the year’ award in Guitarist magazine and was picked up by resurgent NWOBHM band Sweet Savage to take the place of Vivian Campbell when they reformed in 1994. He released his debut album ‘Rich Man Falling’ two years ago and follows it up here with ‘Since Then’, which is backed up as I type by a support slot on Joe Satriani’s current UK tour.

As a young blues guitarist from the Emerald Isle it’s inevitable that he should draw comparisons with Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher, but the truth is he’s his own man whose only similarities to the above are in his talent and his passion for the guitar. Backed by bassist Carl Harvey and drummers Paul Hamilton and Adrian Mcilduff, McBride’s cool riffs and tasty guitar solos run through ‘Take My Hand’, ‘Down To The Wire’, the Zeppelin-ish ‘From The Other Side’ and the more aggressive ‘Dead Man Walking’. The Hammond infused ‘Tear Down Your Soul’, ‘Hell Waters Rising’ and ‘Dancing On The Sidewalk’ add funk to the mix and the instrumental ‘The Truth’ and the heady stomp of ‘Save Me’ are other highlights of this strong release.

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The problem I have with most artists of this ilk is that they’re frequently great guitarists but very average singers, which certainly isn’t the case here. Not only can Simon McBride carry a tune, but his voice is every bit as important as his fiery guitar playing, which coupled with some thoughtful lyrics (for example his homage to Robert Johnson, ‘Devil’s Road’), give the songs more depth than your average blues-rock plank spanker.

‘Since Then’ is an excellent sophomore release and one that should put this talented artist on the map. With artists like Joe Bonamassa currently de riguer, Simon McBride is good enough to demand his share of the spotlight.

Phil Ashcroft

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