By Phillip Smith
Bryce Janey’s newest CD, Burning Flame has been the only disc in my vehicle all week, and I haven’t had the urge to pop in a different disc yet. That’s just how good this album is. Chock full of Texas style blues, about motorcycles, guitars, bootleggers, and lost love, with a little swamp thrown in; this eleven track album features the Dan “DJ” Johnson on bass guitar, Eric Douglas on drums, and Tommy T-Bone Giblin on the Hammond organ.
Janey brings us in with a strong opener, “Chrome Horse”, a blues-ridden rocker, sure to be a favorite of motorcyclists everywhere. When I hear this one, I think of how great it would be to hear it on the FX television show, Sons of Anarchy.
If you asked what songs really jump out, I would certainly include, the Jimi Hendrix influenced “Can You Feel It?” Johnson’s killer bass line drives this one, while Janey lays down some smoking guitar licks. “Guitar Playing Fool” is one I really feel. Giblin’s Hammond shines through as Janey sings about making a living playing music.
There are a couple of covers on the album worth mentioning. The first is “Special Ryder Blues” by Skip James, which Janey has definitively made his own. I love the bass line on this one, and overall this is one of my favorite cuts on the whole album. The second cover, “The Stealer”, a Free cover originally recorded in 1970, which has a new more eerie swampy personality. Another nice selection from the swamp is “The Last Goodbye”, and this is one I am instantly drawn to. Janey lets loose and the guitar seems to play itself. I really like this one a lot.
Janey has set the bar up another notch, one upping himself again. Burning Flame is absolutely enjoyable from start to finish. It is definitely worth exploring.