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Bluesmasters Featuring Mickey Thomas

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Album Review

Known for his work with Jefferson Starship on their biggest hit ("We Built This City"), vocalist Mickey Thomas gives the blues a go via this recording in tandem with the Bluesmasters. Though there's an obligatory pop song added (Elvin Bishop's "Fooled Around & Fell in Love"), the group and Thomas mostly cover classic electric Chicago blues tunes, done well but not spectacularly. Thomas sounds best when he's not yelling or screaming out the lyrics, and in fact, is more effective when he takes off his rock & roll overcoat and digs into a lower octave voice that works better. Doug Lynn's harmonica playing is outstanding on the choogling Chicago blues standard of Muddy Waters' "Rock Me Baby," Tim Tucker gets down on slide guitar for the famous Robert Johnson evergreen "Walkin' Blues" and slow, eight-minute "Third Degree," while Magic Slim guests during the lesser-known Waters' tune "Can't Get No Grindin', and the odd selection of the Phil Collins' faux-juke joint song "Get Your Business Straight. Thomas himself is in good form and company, more comfy in the New Orleans rock/pop confines of Chris Kenner and Dave Bartholomew's "Sick & Tired," but overall, he's competent in singing the blues he has clearly always loved. The ace in the hole for this date is the legendary drummer Aynsley Dunbar, heard throughout the date laying down his reliably strong and thoroughly professional beats. Whether a follow-up recording or tour is in the offering does not diminish this meeting of the minds as Mickey Thomas seeks acceptance on another level besides extravagant stadium rock, one aimed in a more soul-sending direction. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

What a great collaboration!

Wow, love it! Full circle – "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" with Elvin Bishop was what, 30 years ago? And here is Mickey with a reprisal, beautiful! Most associate Mickey with Jefferson Starship but he had blues roots prior. And holy cow what a band – Tim Tucker on guitar, Ansley Dunbar on the drums!!! (Journey, Starship), Ric Ulsky on the B3 going WAY back with some greats, Danny Miranda, bassist from BOC and latest Queen and Doug Lynn on the harp. Wow, great stuff here.

Mickey's Voice is PERFECT for the Blues

This CD was a blast to listen to. My favorite cut was Rock Me Baby, and Cherry Red was a close second for me. They are a lot of fun, and I found myself dancing. With this whole recording, I imagined myself in a jazz club, hanging out and howling at the moon. Mickey has so much soul and feeling, and he brings his amazing range to these great songs. Definitely worth it!


Rock fans really won't find much solace here, relative to the fact that the soulful vocals from longtime rockers Mickey Thomas and standout drummer Ansley Dunbar are tame in this collection of primarily three-chord progressions.
Obviously, it's not rocket science to figure from the onset that this IS a blues album! Despite some solid moments, one can't help but wonder if these guys are just paying the rent with this gig, based on its scattered mediocrity.
Waiting for Thomas' trademark high-octave vibrato vocals and inspired energetic drumming from Dunbar to kick in seems comparable to reversing the aging process; however, partiers and hardcore blues hounds should like this material, in contrast to desperate rock lovers simply searching for remnants!

Bluesmasters Featuring Mickey Thomas, Bluesmasters
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Rock
  • Released: Mar 23, 2010

Customer Ratings