Fireworks

Blackstone - 'Cast The First Stone' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e2/f5/96/blackstone-cast-the-first-stone-12-1399151272.jpg Hot

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Blackstone are a three-piece power trio hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, comprising of the very talented musicians Jerry "Jroc" Franklin on guitar and lead vocals, John Cardilino on drums and newest member Eric Edwards on bass. Their music is best described as a fusion of Heavy Blues Rock with a sprinkling of Soul deriving from the unique vocals of Jroc.

His deep vocals are really distinctive, possessing one of the deepest voices you are likely to hear in Rock with his Blues roots heralding back to the "Bluegrass State" of Kentucky. Unsurprisingly, the left-handed, Stratocaster wielding, guitar playing of Jroc draws obvious comparisons with the late, great Jimi Hendrix! Indeed for much of this album, Jroc sounds as if he is the lovechild of Jimi Hendrix and Barry White!

The album starts with the infectious 'Welcome To The Underground' with its Black Stone Cherry vibe. 'You' is a lot darker with Jroc's vocals going deeper than the Mariana Trench, backed by a thumping rhythm section and featuring one of many great guitar solos peppered throughout the whole album.

I love the female backing vocals, courtesy of Hydrogn's Julie Westlake, on 'Rejection' as they perfectly contrast Jroc's deep vocals and I think that a few more songs would have benefited from their inclusion.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The slow, heavy Blues of 'Web Of Lies' brings Robin Trower to mind whereas the groove on 'Clock On The Wall' is very reminiscent of The Jeff Healey Band.

Highlight of the album for me has to be the fantastic 'Misery' which wouldn't sound out of place on The Winery Dogs' debut album. Check out the brilliant YouTube video for this song.

'Any Wonder' is quite atmospheric and 'Prisoner' a slow-burner and as such perhaps not the track I would have ended the album with; instead I would have replaced it with the more up-tempo 'No One Else' but the latter is only a minor gripe about this cracking debut album.

The production on the album has been expertly handled by Hydrogn guitarist Jeff Westlake, with a rich, naturally earthy, Blues sound. There are some great vocal and guitar effects throughout the whole album without ever overdoing it.

If you are fan of Hard Rock Blues and any of the bands mentioned above then check out this great listening experience!

Mark Donnelly

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  • Berny : You can pre - order FIREWORKS MAGAZINE #97 now!
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