Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tony Spinner - Earth Music For Aliens

Earth Music for Aliens



By Phillip Smith




About a week before first listening to Tony Spinner’s ninth solo release, Earth Music for Aliens, I had read about the recordings of 100 songs from around the world, placed on Voyager back in 1977.  It was to be heard and enjoyed by whomever or whatever the Voyager makes its way to.  Rock and Blues were sparsely represented. 
At least they included Chuck Berry’s “Johnny Be Good”, and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground”.  Both nice tracks, but my selfish thoughts were that they should have added more Rock and Blues music, something more akin to songs found on this new disc from Spinner.  Judging from the title and cover art from the new disc, I think Spinner may have had the same idea. 

Returning to the studio with bassist Michel Mulder and drummer Alex Steier, Spinner takes the listener on a journey down several paths.  I like the way “Best Friend” and “Got What I Wanted” can pump the listener up with its energetically charged, funk infused blues and hot guitar licks and then later, chill us out to a relaxing listen to “Free Now”, about letting go and forgiveness.  Spinner’s vocals are very nice and calming on this track.   

There seems to be a bit of Frank Zappa influence on “Let Her Go” because when I hear the intro and the hook, I am instantly reminded of the late great musical genius.  This one gets weirdly fun and playful. 

Spinner serves up some funky treats with “Hot Mess” and “Low Down Dirty Shame”.  A funky rhythm along with Spinner’s teasing guitar licks makes “Hot Mess” a favorite, while “Low Down Dirty Shame” is like a bluesy Funkadelic song with its cool vocal harmonizing, rhythmic groove, and Eddie Hazel-like guitar playing.  
   
A couple of rockabilly treats are worth noting as well. It’s a Living” revisits the sounds of the Fifties rock and roll, and peppers it with a heaping dash of roadhouse blues. And if that’s not enough, check out “Missy Talk”, a guitar centric answer to Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Honey Don’t”.  This one has ‘Sun Records’ written all over it.

“Earth Music for Aliens” is so easy to listen to, I recommend it to all Earthlings, and those not of this world as well.