Doogie White & La Paz - 'The Dark And The Light'

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Doogie White & La Paz - 'The Dark And The Light'

Awesome from start to finish.

I remember La Paz from the beginning. I used to go and watch guitarist Chic McSherry when I was in my early teens and he was playing in his previous band Red Ellis. He had us all mesmerised with his Eddie Van Halen style of playing (almost before anyone else was copying it) and when La Paz formed, it was a natural progression for me to follow them. That was in 1984 and what a long journey it's been for the band. After a very long hiatus since the eighties following their first two albums 'Old Habits Die Hard' and 'The Amy Tapes', until their first release with the reformed and restructured band last year, 'Granite'. 'The Dark And The Light' is a fabulous blend of melodic and gritty rock from Doogie White and the band.

A real highlight for me is 'Devil In Disguise' which starts with an amazing cathedral type organ piece and finishes with a Spanish guitar solo. A stunning piece of music altogether. Doogie's vocals are exactly what you'd expect on this album – I think I prefer him doing songs he's written than other peoples, not to take anything away from him, but I guess he is just more comfortable with his own songs. Chic's playing still has the feel it's always had – I just wish he hadn't turned his back on it for so many years. Drummer Paul MacManus (also a member of Gun) and bassist Alex Carmichael are the undulating backbone and both are fabulous, but I have to say, I think the real hero of the piece is Andy Mason on keys. The nuances and solos he produces give just so much depth to the album.



'Shadow of Romance' is something a little different and could almost be a Marilyn Manson composition. The most touted quote about this album is that "it has its roots in the past but its energy in the present", - I couldn't agree more. The last thing it sounds is dated, although you can definitely hear the influences. Anyone who has ever been a fan of Rainbow, Glenn Hughes or any of their ilk will adore this album. To end on the song 'The Fallen' with the drummers of the Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band is just the crowning glory for me. It's albums like this that make me proud - proud to be Scottish and proud to be a rock fan.

Awesome from start to finish.

Sue Ashcroft

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