Friday, August 28, 2015

Craig Erickson - Sky Train Galaxy

2015 –Grooveyard Records
By Phillip Smith; Aug. 28, 2015

Sky Train Galaxy, the latest offering from the intergalactic guitar virtuoso Craig Erickson, is a tasty psychedelic brew of rock and blues.

Erickson hits the ground running with “The Comeback”, a driving blues-infused southern-style rocker about pushing setbacks aside and moving forward in life.  With John Hall’s monstrous bassline and Tim King’s thunderous drumming holding down the fort, Erickson breaks out a full-on assault on guitar, laying down exquisite riffs and killer licks.  This is how you open an album.

I like the vocal harmony between Erickson and Alicia Strong on “Mercy”, a funky rocking track with a big sound and a catchy melody.  This is one I often want to turn the volume up on, because it’s so full of energy.  Then there is “Morning Glory”, a wonderfully beautiful instrumental. I can’t help but think of the ascended blues guitar master Stevie Ray Vaughan when this one plays.       
There’s only one cover song on the album, and it’s Deep Purple’s “Getting’ Tighter/Ode to T”.  Erickson does not disappoint at all.  This one is fantastic and brings me pure joy to hear.  I could listen to this track all day.  Troy Harper does a phenomenal job handling the drums on this one.       

A catchy hook and southern-style slide set the mood for standout track, “Mojo in Memphis”.  Erickson sings about one of my favorite places on the planet, and makes me homesick in the process.  The dual guitar sounds so good and draws my full attention.  For the last track, Erickson throws in an acoustic version of this song.  Swampy and soulfully gooey as molasses, this makes me think immediately of the late, great bluesman R.L. Burnside.  It’s quite wonderful.   

What I like about Erickson, is how he constantly seems to stretch the boundaries of where his music goes.  I like the unpredictability in his songs. Sky Train Galaxy is yet another testament to that fascinating quality.  This album comes highly recommended.

For more info on Craig Erickson, visit his website :

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