Fireworks

Gary Hoey - 'Neon Highway Blues' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     May 23, 2019    
 
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This is an astoundingly beautiful and well-crafted collection of tracks.

The new album by this New Hampshire-based singer/song-writer/guitarist is a gem for fans of his work and newcomers alike.

'Under The Rug' starts things rolling with a funky Blues workout that includes Eric Gales where both guitarists wail, sing and duel Jeff Beck style. The next track 'Mercy Of Love', featuring the talents of Josh Smith, slows the pace but still oozes and drips Blues goodness with a tinge of Gospel flavouring as a side. 'Your Kind Of Love' sees Hoey break out the bottleneck for some tasty slide playing in this rocking ditty. It almost comes across as a jam because it's so laid-back and fun. 'Don't Come Crying' brings in a family element in the shape of Hoey's sixteen-year-old son Ian; the result is some sweet playing and just it goes to prove that the Blues can be passed down in your genes!

The Roadhouse Shuffle sound also gets a good airing with 'Still Believe In Love' sitting at the softer end of the scale and conversely 'Damned If I Do' turning up the distortion and grooving like a beast. 'Almost Heaven' shows that vocals aren't always needed as this song is a stunningly beautiful instrumental that sits firmly in Joe Satriani territory.
Hoey self-produced the record and he clearly knows a thing or two about what makes for a good sound having produced (and also written) with Lita Ford and her band. The depth, variety and texture of the sonics laid down here is a real credit to him.

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Taking a darker path is 'I Felt Alive' which has a menacing back riff and some solo breaks a certain David Gilmour would have been proud of. However, the brakes are soon jammed on fast as another instrumental, 'Waiting On The Sun', releases its haunting melodies and guitar phrasings on the listener. Back on the rocking Blues road, 'Living The Nightlife' has Hoey kicking ass on guitar and vocals as the notes speed off the fret-board. The closing title track takes a traditional route and it's a slow old-time Blues number with yet more classy slide work which gives the song a dreamy air – what a way to end an album!

This is an astoundingly beautiful and well-crafted collection of tracks, each of which are mini masterpieces, and they also show a different side to the multi-faceted talents of Gary Hoey – well done Sir!

Paul Sabin

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