metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk


  JACK BRUCE
'Silver Rails'
(Cherry Red Records)


Tony Conley

tony conley



jack bruce

Who would have thought that Jack Bruce would do his best work at the age of 70? It's a familiar tack with me, but think about what you would have wanted Jack to sound like in 2014 - he's singing better than ever, he's playing great bass and piano, and he's writing brilliantly. Could you have hoped for more than that?

'Silver Rails' may be his best solo record ever, its certainly the best record he's made in a great many years, and it should end up on a lot of lists for the best albums of 2014.

He's assisted by the likes of Robin Trower, Phil Manzanera, Uli Jon Roth, Cindy Blackmon Santana, John Medeski, Bernie Marsden, his son Malcolm Bruce, he has great co-writers in Peter Brown, Kip Hanrahan, and Margrit Seyffer, and the production by Rob Cass at Abbey Road Studios is near perfect. They all do great work, but there's only one true star of this record and it is Jack Bruce.

Article continues below...



jack bruce

As a caveat, allow me to add that if you're looking for a new Cream album, there are some fantastic moments that recall the original power trio, but this isn't it - what it is, is a grand album by a great composer, singer, and player, using some of the very best players on the planet to get across a set of tunes that very in style and mood, but still remains a cohesive statement. Yes, the album is not dead - here's a great one for all the naysayers.

Jack Bruce seems to be defying conventional wisdom, and is getting better in his golden years. Often has been the time in which I loved some tracks, and got lost by others on his solo outings, but this song-set grabbed me and didn't let go. I'm reminded of early period Bowie, where there were albums on which it seemed he couldn't write a less than great tune. This is one of those records, and maybe the best part of the whole thing, even better than the great song craft and sublime playing is the sound of Jack's voice. It's lush, nuanced, and golden - the vibrato as strong as you'll find, incredible pitch, and his phrasing is always perfect for the line and the song.

jack bruce

The songs....

Candlelight has a warm, calypso sway with sumptuous horns, tasty Hammond organ, percolating bass line, and a great vocal - this is a perfect opener, because it has so many Bruce hallmarks, but it doesn't seek to relive anything from the past, it's just a great tune. Bruce is in fabulous voice, and he twists the melody subtly throughout as he playfully pushes and pulls his phrasing around the beat. There's always a bit of sixties psychedelia in anything Bruce does, and it's no different here. Maybe it's just that his level of musical cool transcends genre and time.

A nice descending piano line introduces Reach For The Night, and it's joined by a bass line that is straight out of a jazzed up detective novel as Jack lays down his Raymond Chandler flavored autobiographical tome on growing older. You can hear his fingers plucking the notes of his bass - more aggressively at times, softer at others, and it's all in reaction to what his voice is singing. Medeski's brilliant organ solo (truly a masterpiece of its own) is followed by a nicely slurred sax solo that drips emotion across the track - the arrangements on this album are the things of which greatness is made.

jack bruce

Fields Of Forever sounds like a lost nugget from 1969 - it's a very Townshend-esque melody that drives this rocker. The most guitar driven tune yet, I'm guessing it's Bernie Marsden, but I could be wrong. And really, that's one of the coolest things about the album - while there are some incredible guitarists abound, they all play for the tailor, so to speak, and nobody elects to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

jack bruce

The big rock continues with Jack utilizing the acrobatic skills of Cindy Blackmon Santana and Uli Jon Roth to great effect on Hidden Cities. Blackmon Santana might have the most distinctive snare sound this side of Simon Phillips, and Uli shows great restraint, but his liquid bends and muscular single string work are still quite apparent. Melody is the word of the moment, and Bruce chases his own voice with his bass lines, and he's joined by some wonderful female harmonies. I'd love to see this lineup do some shows, that's for sure. This is as close as the album gets to the proto-metal side of Cream, and I say that with the best of intentions. Not the bluesier side, but the band that pulled off White Room.

Bruce shines brightly on Don't Look Now, as he pulls out all the stops by going into his lower range to great effect, while still twisting falsetto climbs around his taut bass lines. Medeski continues to be the disc's most valuable player, as his organ gets dished out in perfect measure - thrilling, but always in service of the song. I love the way this record sounds - it's not a patch work ProTools outing, that is for sure. The sounds are superb, the arrangements well thought out, and the mix is just right.

The Jack Bruce blues rears its head on Rusty Lady, and here, Cream fans will find much to love. I'm guessing it's Trower supplying the guitar on this one, though I could be wronging some other player - it's a part of music writing 2014 that you rarely see complete liner notes, damnit. At least it sure sounds like Robin's tone on his latest, the brilliant Roots and Branches. Yeah, if we could have known this is what Jack would sound like in 2014, we'd have been very pleased.

jack bruce

Industrial Child is definitely the most beautiful song on Silver Rails. Gorgeous piano, and Jack singing in a manner that should be the envy of any singer at any age. His vibrato is haunting as it takes notes up and seems to rise above the tune. Worth the price of the record, right here.

I'm not quite sure what to make of Drone, it's the one time the album makes me unsure - it's built around a massively distorted bass track with Jack speak/singing lyrics that sound like they wouldn't be out of place on a John Entwistle solo album. Again, I'm guessing that this is a Peter Brown lyric.

Keep It Down is the closest Jack gets to Clapton territory - this sounds like a distant cousin to Badge mixed with a bit of late seventies/early eighties soul stew. A cooking bass line keeps things cooking, and the stinging Strat fills are fun.

Big rock finishes the record with power chords and big beat drums on No Surrender, and suddenly I realize that Jack near completely avoided arena rock in the '80s. The guitar solo is straight off a Bad Company album, not that that's a bad thing, in fact, it's a great tone.

jack bruce

In summation, this is the most fully realized album of Bruce's career, at least to my ears. There are eight songs of utter brilliance, and when was the last time that happened? This is maybe the best solo album Jack Bruce has yet completed, and who could have hoped that in 2014? Rock Ain't Near Dead....


beer beer beerbeerbeer


14.4.14











 

mortality EXCLUSIVE UK PREMIERE: MORTALITY UNVEIL 'FOR WHOM THE BOMB TOLLS' - LISTEN HERE
It took twenty five years before their debut full length, 'For Whom the Bomb Tolls', was finally released...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE LAND THUNDER TOUR SUPPORT
"We're going to rock you all to the moon and back. It will be purrrrfect!"

mean messiah EXCLUSIVE UK PREMIERE: MEAN MESSIAH UNVEIL SECOND ALBUM, 'HELL' - LISTEN HERE
"People's journeys and destinies are complicated and either way lead to Hell..."

extreme GET THE FUNK OUT! EXTREME TO HEADLINE RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR
"We are honoured to be headlining the Ramblin’ Man Fair. Extreme has always had a special relationship with the UK fans..."

scorpions EXCLUSIVE: SCORPIONS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN EARLY 2018 AND CONTINUE TOURING
Brand new opus will be their first with Mikkey, who was Motörhead drummer for twenty-three years...

nidingr EXCLUSIVE UK PREMIERE: NIDINGR RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM
"To me this song solidifies a thing that is fucking great about Nidingr - no rules..."

iron maiden WAS BREAKING NEWS: CELLAR DARLING SIGN WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
"We are proud and excited to have found partners who understand our music and share our vision..."

iron maiden WAS BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR NORTH AMERICA IN JUNE/JULY
Support on all North American dates will be Ghost and tickets go on-sale from next Friday...

iron maiden HOME OF METAL TO JOIN BLACK SABBATH ON THEIR FINAL DATES
"Fans are our lifeblood, they've always been there to support us. The audiences have been getting bigger as the tour progressed..."

hammerfall EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: HAMMERFALL UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'BUILT TO LAST' TITLE TRACK
Hammerfall are currently on tour throughout Europe and there are plenty of dates left to catch their new epic show...

grim reaper GRIM REAPER'S STEVE GRIMMETT SEVERELY ILL IN ECUADOR
"Unfortunately the operation didn't work and Steve is currently in the operating theatre having limbs removed..."

bill price GUNS N' ROSES AND SEX PISTOLS PRODUCER/ENGINEER BILL PRICE HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY
Price worked with Rod Stewart, INXS, Pete Townshend, Elton John, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Big Audio Dynamite...

fish marillion FISH CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY OF 'CLUTCHING AT STRAWS' WITH UK TOUR
"These are the only dates this year as because of my shoulder operation next month with the extensive recovery period..."

ross the boss UK EXCLUSIVE: ROSS THE BOSS ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES AHEAD OF SPECIAL GUEST SLOT ON MetalTalk RADIO THIS WEEK
"We are going to devastate every audience, every night, without mercy..."

dokken WAS BREAKING NEWS: CLASSIC DOKKEN LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN
Dokken, Lynch, Pilson and Brown will play together in England for the first time in around a quarter-of-a-century...

grand magus DEF LEPPARD AND POISON ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN DATES
"I could not be more excited. I know all of us will give one thousand percent on stage..."

grand magus VIKINGS TO INVADE YORKSHIRE: GRAND MAGUS TO HEADLINE KEIGHLEY FESTIVAL
"Get your tickets now and prepare to raise your fists and bang your heads for the glory of Metal!"

armored saint ARMORED SAINT UK TOUR DATES AND 'MARCH OF THE SAINT (LIVE)' VIDEO ARE HERE
"We're really looking forward to playing these select UK shows in March..."

screaming eagles SCREAMING EAGLES TO FEATURE IN NEW AMAZON PRIME SERIES STARRING BRYAN CRANSTON
The band will be releasing a live mini-album in spring 2017 and will be touring in the UK, France and Germany throughout the year...

martyrd MARTYRD SET TO OPEN FOR METAL ALLEGIANCE, MARTY FRIEDMAN AND GUS G
"NAMM is a blast, total musical sensory overload from every direction. It’s like getting lost in a hurricane - I can't wait."

john garcia EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: JOHN GARCIA UNLEASHES 'GIVE ME 250ml'
"This record is one of the most important of my career, difficult and challenging to do, but worth every minute of sweat!"

avenged sevenfold WAS BREAKING NEWS: AVENGED SEVENFOLD TO OPEN LONDON POP-UP STORE
The shop will be hosting in-store raffles and giveaways of exclusive and signed merchandise...

avenged sevenfold ROCK MEETS CLASSIC 2017 EUROPE LINE-UP IS HERE
Rock meets Classic has a terrific vibe and the legendary cross-over-project combines emotional classic with world-famous rock songs...

paddy goes to holyhead PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ARE BACK FOR THE CRAIC ON ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
The band supposedly played their last ever gig two years ago in celebration of their 30th anniversary...

nightlord EXCLUSIVE THE UNKNOWN BAND WHO INFLUENCED METALLICA AIRS ON MetalTalk RADIO
Also featuring is the very first UK radio airplay of Cellar Darling, the band created by former Eluveitie members...

epica EPICA RELEASE 'BEYOND THE MATRIX' VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
"The energy that lives within 'Beyond The Matrix' is extremely contagious. It will sweep you off your feet when the melodies enter your mind..."

nightlord JOHN COGHLAN'S QUO BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN
John Coghlan's Quo have announced UK dates across the Kingdom that will see them busy throughout the year...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN'S WIDOW NEEDS OUR HELP
"Jimmy recently passed away without a proper will in place and now his better half is in trouble..."

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST 'LIVE' TOKYO FEATURING BARDEN, BONNET AND McAULEY OUT IN MARCH
Features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker...

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE OVERDOSED WHEN SHARON HAD CANCER
"I watched him scoop his hands into a bowl of pills, swallow a handful of something, and then wash it down with vodka..."

eluveitie ELUVEITIE NEW LINE-UP IS COMPLETE, FIRST GIGS GO DOWN A STORM
"Above all we're super happy and thankful that we're complete again and given the chance to have such gifted musicians on board..."

gene simmons GENE SIMMONS RESTAURANT HONOURS US VETS
"The opening day of every Rock & Brews is dedicated to our vets, the public is not allowed in."

deep purple DEEP PURPLE SUE THEIR LONG-TIME ACCOUNTANT FOR FOUR MILLION
"I'm completely irresponsible. I'm ignorant about money as a commodity — I have never really understood it."

tony iommi UK EXCLUSIVE: VINCE NEIL FIST FIGHT WITH BOY GEORGE STOPPED AS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER SHUTS UP PRESIDENT TRUMP
"They screwed up. That was a huge miss and someone should have a talking-to."

tony iommi GLENN HUGHES: "I'M THRILLED TO BE TOURING THE UK IN JANUARY"
"Let's get 2017 going with a killer night for ROCK lovers, movers and shakers. I'm in. Let's go!"

tony iommi TONY IOMMI HAS SUCCESSFUL THROAT OPERATION AND IS CANCER-FREE
"We had to have it checked in case it may have been cancerous. But it turns out it wasn't, which I found out Christmas Day..."

ronnie montrose RONNIE MONTROSE REMEMBERED: ALL-STAR MEMORIAL CONCERT TO TAKE PLACE AT NAMM 2017
"Ronnie helped light a fire in me and made me want to approach guitar playing with that kind of zeal and expression..."

motorhead beer PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO APPEAR AT MOTÖRHEAD BEER LAUNCH IN LONDON
This is sure to be one superb night with beer, live music and Motörhead, but not necessarily in that order...

tony iommi BLACK STAR RIDERS PREMIERE 'TESTIFY OR SAY GOODBYE'
Black Star Riders are set to release their forthcoming album 'Heavy Fire' on 3rd February via Nuclear Blast...

tony iommi BREAKING NEWS: TONY IOMMI DROPS HEAVY METAL AND JOINS THE CHOIR
"It's a bit different to Sabbath!" says Tony, in probably the biggest understatement of all time...

tony iommi ROCK MUSIC IN SUPERHERO MOVIES
It's pretty wild to think that this whole ride that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a little AC/DC...

jimi hendrix JIMI HENDRIX'S WAH-WAH PEDAL AND AMP SURVIVES AUCTION HOUSE BURGLARY
"It was a very positive and uplifting experience to work for Jimi. He was like a shaman, a medicine man, a preacher.."

alestorm ALESTORM ENTER FLORIDA STUDIO BUT A CHALLENGE AWAITS THEM BACK IN BLIGHTY
"It is full of epic songs about pirates, drinking, and pseudoscientific cryptogeography..."

queen QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY WANTS TO BRING ROCK TO A NEW GENERATION
"It was actually all very planned and deliberate and came totally out of Freddie's fevered imagination..."

phil lynott MASS TRIBUTES PAID TO PHIL LYNOTT ON ANNIVERSARY OF HIS PASSING
"God bless my old friend, thanks for the faith you showed in allowing me to record your music..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION ENTER STUDIO TO BEGIN WORK ON FOURTH ALBUM
"One thing I want to make clear to everybody across air nation is that Joe Bonamassa and I never fell out..."

hair metal heaven BLAZE BAYLEY BRAND NEW ALBUM AND WORLD TOUR DETAILS ARE HERE
'Endure And Survive' is set for release on 3rd March 2017 and will be accompanied by a world tour totalling some 120 shows...

hair metal heaven HAIR METAL HEAVEN FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST ACTS FOR INAUGURAL EVENT
The Hair Metal Heaven Festival has a very eighties feel to it, as the team behind it explain here...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE TEST PILOT DROPS TWO GRAND ON NEW MOTÖRHEAD VIDEO SLOT
"A few spins later and I turned up a row of gold Snaggletooths which promptly caught fire and the voice of the man himself commanded: 'Turn it up!'"

deep purple DEEP PURPLE RELEASE NEW 'inFinite' TRAILERS AND EXPECTED ALBUM FORMATS
'Time For Bedlam', the first single which was revealed late last year, is available as instant grat as part of the digital album pre-order...

hollywood AEROSMITH FAREWELL TOUR COULD LAST FIVE YEARS
"We had a talk a few weeks back about going into the studio. When that'll happen, though, I'm not sure. We certainly have plenty of ideas..."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE MEGADETH MAINMAN DAVE MUSTAINE REVEALS HE'S AN ARSENAL FC SUPPORTER
Megadeth, formed in Los Angeles in 1983 after Dave left Metallica, are currently enjoying a rich vein of form...

hollywood FORMER PEARL JAM DRUMMER HITS OUT AT THE BAND
"We need music, each other and the spirit of Rock & Roll now, more than ever before..."

hollywood HOLLYWOOD SIGN CHANGED BY PRANKSTERS TO READ 'HOLLYWEED'
"An artist's role throughout history has been to create representations of the culture he exists in..."

metallica METALLICA GUITARIST KIRK HAMMETT'S HOME FOR SALE FOR £16m
Apparently a house like this doubles its asking price every six or seven years...

kiss EXCLUSIVE KISS' GENE SIMMONS DROPS BIGGEST HINT YET THAT ACE FREHLEY REUNION IS ON
Over 7,000 likes later, fans are in big speculation that it really is going to happen...

rick parfitt WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLOODSTOCK UNVEIL SECOND 2017 HEADLINER
"Megadeth had a blast last time and I can't wait to bring the Dystopia World Tour to Bloodstock this Summer."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE JOHN COGHLAN REVEALS TWO NEW TRACKS WITH RICK PARFITT ARE NEARLY READY FOR RELEASE
"It was going to be Status Quo PLC [Parfitt, Lancaster, Coghlan] and that was Francis' idea originally."

wizz wizzard WIZZ WIZZARD VOCALIST WIZZ BEAUPREZ HAS PASSED AWAY
Wizz Wizzard were signed to Rock Sector Records and labelmate Chris Appleton of Absolva led the tributes...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO TO TOUR IN 2017
"It was very emotional. I didn't think that I was gonna cry, but I did. I broke down...."

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery