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Sky High - 'Stone & Gravel' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/77/ae/50/sky-high-stone-and-gravel-9-1462732776.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 08, 2016    
 
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The world still needs bands like this.

Sky High, a Blues Rock band which have been going since 1978, has a long history of celebrating Texan style Blues. Named after a Jimi Hendrix bootleg, the band's influences are Southern Blues a la ZZ Top. Indeed, the album features a hitherto unreleased track 'One Step Back' written by a certain Billy Gibbons and the band has a historical connection publishing company-wise with that of the better known Southern Blues trio, although the main song-writer of SH's material is Clas Yngstrom, who also covers guitar and vocals. Bass is provided by Arne "Dynamite" Blomqvist and the drums by Marcus Kallstrom. As the names suggest, the band hails from Gothenburg but you could never tell this from the music which is American in feel all the way.

'Pretty Young Women (And Dirty Old Men)' has all the chutzpah of ZZT's 'Legs' whilst 'One Step Back' (written by Gibbons) could easily be performed by the Top itself. 'A New Old Style (Old Farts Boogie)' has a Hank Marvin sound; its lyrics "today's lame stuff don't touch me, so I turn my head back to what used to be" tell you exactly where the band is coming from and going. 'Holy Grounds' is a slower groove full of nostalgia whilst 'Rolla Rollin' Man' is back to the good-time Boogie and essentially optimistic music, despite its roots being in the Blues.

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'Manhattan Boogie' has a fifties, almost Chuck Berry-esque, feel at times, whereas 'Trixie Mae' is a storyteller and has more of a Country music feel. The title track returns us back to the bands gritty Southern Blues style, although it's a slow number full of whiskey-stained ethos of the working man. 'Dive In A Ditch' ups the tempo although it has less charm what with it being more of a stomp, 'My Distant Blues' has a Dire Straits vibe with a slower more contemplative feel whereas 'Love Bomb', about as deep and romantic as these fellows get, is a celebration of the Southern Belle. The final track, 'Sin City', is a slow grind and showcase for guitar improvisation with plenty of worldly wise musings of those who have seen too much in life, but lived to tell the tale.

This is overall good time Rock 'n' roll for those who don't want to think too hard about life, but don't compromise on musicianship... those who care more about substance than style, letting the world turn without a care. However, to regard it as unsophisticated would be a mistake. There's plenty of light and shade with a variety of tone and feel, showing effortless musicianship garnered over many years of practice. The world still needs bands like this.

Dawn Osborne

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