Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Album Review: Ian McLagan, Here Comes Trouble

Artist: Ian McLagan
Title: Here Comes Trouble
Rating: 9
Writer: Rick Galusha

Okay, I love this guy – always have. He’s the ‘pocket guy’ on so many albums from the ‘60’s and 70’s that are the foundation for my love of rock music including the Rolling Stone’s, ‘Some Girls’ album or the organ line from Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” Whether as a member of the Small Faces (“Itchycoo Park”) or a founding member of that great band, ‘The Faces,’ (who picked up Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones) after they’d left the Jeff Beck Group) Ian McLagan was smack dab in the middle of rock’s golden era. A quick glance at the great English rock-come-blues movement and Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan is playing on Stewart’s and Wood’s solo albums or appearing on Ronnie Lane’s projects or as an long term addition to the Rolling Stones. Ian McLagan has also lent the benefit of his talents for touring to prestigious acts like Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and currently Billy Bragg. His, is an amazing rock n’ roll life.

McLagan’s web-only (www.MacsPages.com) release, ‘Here Comes Trouble,’ is an amalgamation of two previously released albums; ‘Troublemaker’ and ‘Last Chance to Dance’ along with a cover of The Who’s ‘Picture’s of Lilly,’ an extended version of ‘Truly,’ and another version of the song, ‘Last Chance to Dance.’ In all there are seventeen tracks.

While most fans are aware of the “big” albums surrounding the English pop-rock blues movement; ‘Exile on Main Street’ by the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart’s albums on the Mercury label and all those rollicking Faces albums, there is a deep niche of lesser know but equally compelling albums such as the first three Ron Wood solo records, ‘Rough Mix’ by Ronnie Lane & The Who’s Peter Townshend, and McLagan’s ‘Troublemaker.’

In 1977 Keith Richards was busted for drug violations in Canada. One of the off-shoots of that was Ronnie Wood’s New Barbarian’s band which included Richards, McLagan, and Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters) and jazz bassist Stanley Clarke as well as long time Stone’s sax player, and Texan, Bobby Keys. When the tour ended the band ended up in Rob Fraboni’s ‘Shangri-La Studios and recorded a total of five tracks; one for each member of the band including ‘Truly’ which ended up on the Mac’s ‘Troublemaker’ album. Interestingly an extended version of the track is included on this package clocking in at nearly 12 minutes. (In mid-2007 a double CD set of the New Barbarians Live was released on Wood’s, Wooden Records). ‘Troublemaker’ ends with McLagan covering Ron Wood’s Mystifies Me. Devoid of pop catering tunes the album is pure and beautiful – the type of album that today could resurrect the Stone’s current lackluster recordings.

The ‘Last Chance to Dance’ EP (1985) is only four songs long and while obscure is a fine examples of up-tempo abandoned rock n’ roll with the obvious heavy English interpretation. ‘You’re My Girl,’ (the opening track off his solo effort, ‘Rise and Shine’) originally came out on this EP.

In all, Ian McLagan is an advocate for rock music and this solo effort is an amazing unrealized gem where the guitars of Keith Richards and Ron Wood are unleashed; where Bobby Keys, Jim Keltner and Ringo Starr all contribute. It is a fine if heretofore unrecognized piece of the best of British music available.

Just for the record McLagan has also guested on albums by; Bruce Springsteen, Frank Black, Patty Griffin, Taj Mahal, Melissa Etheridge, Robyn Hitchcock, Mary Gauthier, Robert Earl Keen, Kelly Willis, Paul Westerberg, John Hiatt, Tom Russell, Midge Ure, The Georgia Satellites, Izzy Stradlin (Guns n’ Roses), Toni Price, Chris Gaffney (Dave Alvin), LeRoi Brothers, James McMurtry, Joe Cocker and others. Recently McLagan has settled in Austin – the former home of the late Ronnie Lane. In 2006 McLagan released the highly regarded tribute album, ‘Spiritual Boy’ which comprised covers of songs written by former Faces & Small Faces band-mate Ronnie Lane. McLagan’s book, ‘All the Rage’ chronicles his musical life.

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