Fireworks

Bucket And Co. - 'Guitars, Beers And Tears' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d2/af/de/1111_BucketandCoGuitarsbeerstears_1300125192.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 14, 2011    
 
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A very pleasant surprise indeed.

The 'Bucket' in question is former Bad Company member Dave 'Bucket' Colwell, the journeyman guitarist who's had spells with FM, Adrian Smith's A.S.A.P and Humble Pie and he's assembled an impressive cast of friends and former bandmates for 'Guitars, Beers & Tears', his first solo album. Much like Slash's excellent album from last year, almost every track features a different singer, and whilst that can sometimes result in a schizophrenic mish-mash of sounds and styles, Colwell has enough personality and songwriting know-how to easily avoid that particular pitfall.

In a style not unlike Bad Company or Thunder, the title track gets things underway in fine style with a gritty riff and a superb Chris Ousey vocal, the Heartland/Virginia Wolf man proving that he can offer something other than smooth UK AOR. Other vocalists include Spike from the Quireboys who wraps his whisky-soaked larynx around the emotional 'Girl Of My Dreams' and the rather commercial rendition of Frankie Miller's 'I'd Lie To You', on which he duets with Bekka Bramlett. Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith also sings on two songs that couldn't be more different; the jam-like barroom boogie brawler 'Make Up Your Mind' and an old Colwell song called 'Reach Out' that was originally recorded as a b-side to Maiden's 'Wasted Years', here given the full-on melodic rock treatment. Elsewhere old sparring partner Robert Hart turns up on the laid-back 'Somebody To Love', Danny Bowes manages to make the simple rocker 'Life' sound surprisingly unlike Thunder, 'If You Need Me' is another upbeat blues-rocker which features another well-travelled guitarist in a cool vocal role; this time ex-New York Dolls/Billy Squier/ Company Of Wolves man Steve Conte, and one Seth Romano makes the country rocker 'Why Can't It Be?' sound like something recent by John Waite.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Colwell even has a shot at vocals himself and doesn't sound at all bad on 'Mr. Nobody', but on this consistently good album both of my main highlights just happen to be songs sung by Edwin McCain. The well-respected US artist lends his superb dulcet tones to the melodic 'Why You Call', which has a sax solo and could have come from FM's recent comeback album, and the simple rock'n'roller 'Survive' which also features the great Judd Lander (Paul McCartney/Jeff Beck) on harmonica.

Before hearing this album I would have probably said that a solo album by Dave Colwell wouldn't be something that would interest me, but this is a tidy collection of good songs and performances that should elevate him from the sideman role he's played up to now. A very pleasant surprise indeed.

Phil Ashcroft

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