Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Artist: Russ Tippins Electric Band
Like America’s rust-belt, Newcastle Upon Tyne, located in the industrial northeast of England, is a hard rock area much like Detroit, Cleveland or Omaha. The area is also largely an unrecognized breeding grounds for world class music talent including; Sting, Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music), The Animals, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) and Brian Johnson (AC/DC). Newcastle’s Russ Tippins looks like Pat Travers, sings like a cross between Steve Marriott & Geddy Lee and is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. His album, ‘electrickery’ has all the makings for a heavier rock milestone yet heavily influenced by blues textures … this is not a blues record.
Critically, Tippins brings little new to the party but his sound and smooth playing puts the hammer to the anvil and should appeal to blues rock fans; a significant slice of the today’s blues market. The album opens with a fiery cover Hendrix’s ‘Freedom’ and closes with a hidden cover of ‘Lemon Song’ by Led Zepplin (via’s Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon).
In a genre lead by Joe Bonamassa with support from Aynsley Lister and Mato Nanji ; Tippins has strong commercial promise which will expand as his song writing skills develop. Bass player John Dawson and drummer Ian Halford set up a solid platform for Tippins to solo and soar. The track, ‘She’s Gone’ is a powerful ballad that makes easy entry for radio hosts which harkens strongly to late period Humble Pie. The “hit” on this record is the fast-moving panoramic title track, ‘electrickery,’ where Tippins and Dawson whipsaw the fretboard with manic energy.