Saturday, September 23, 2017

Alastair Greene - Dream Train

2017 –Rip Cat Records
Release Date : Oct 20, 2017

By Phillip Smith; Sep 23, 2017

Alastair Greene recently parted from his seven-year gig as Alan Parson’s touring guitarist and made the decision to follow his musical dream of pursing a full-time solo career. His most recent album, Dream Train, produced and mixed by David Z is a monumental one to say the least.  It contains a dozen originals and one fabulous cover.  With Greene on guitar and vocals, he is joined by Jim Rankin on bass, and Austin Beede on drums.

Beede’s thunder-filled pounding beats fuel title-track “Dream Train” as Greene kicks it into full-throttle fearlessly blasting his turbo-charged electric blues. “Nome Zayne”, a previously-unreleased Texas-style blues-rocker written by Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and featuring the great Walter Trout is funky and infectious.  It’s definitely one of my favorites, as is “I’m the Taker”.  Greene keeps this one powerful, raw and a bit psychedelic. 
The instrumentals on this album are delightful.  So elegant is “Song For Rufus”.  Though clocking in at just less than two minutes in length, it carries heartfelt warmth. “Iowa” is a blessing to hear as well, and not just because it is where I call my current home.  The rich sounds from organist Mike Finnegan and the gentile waves of crashing cymbals provide a perfectly textured space for Greene’s guitar to explore.  This gorgeous song quickly brings to mind my first listen of Eric Johnson’s Tones album.  Debbie Davies appears with guitar in hand for a swinging instrumental blues jam on “Grateful Swagger” and it is downright terrific.  

There’s a heavy North Mississippi Delta vibe in “Rain Stomp”.  Greene plays this wonderful callback to classic blues slathered up with a heaping dose of exquisite swampy slide.  A collaboration with Mike Zito results in one badass song called “Down to Memphis”.  The riffs are hard and intense.  The slide guitar is fantastic.  

One listen to Dream Train, and it’s so very obvious Alastair Greene made the right decision to pursue his musical dream.  This is absolutely one stellar blues-rock album.


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