Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 9/26/2006
Whips And Roses II
posted on 11/2006 By:
Like Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison before him, the Tommy Bolin story is another sad tale of a phenomenal musician turned drug addicted phenomenal musician, turned drug addicted phenomenal but quite dead musician. It’s simply a damn shame because this guy was one hell of a guitar player with so much talent that basically went to waste. But in the short amount of time Tommy had working in the business, he contributed to some outstanding music and played with some of the best musicians from rock music at that time.
If you've read the review offered up for Whips and Roses I here at the site by the one and only Chris Sessions, then you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this album. Whips and Roses II serves up nine juicy cuts of alternate takes in the studio, with three additional live bonus cuts of Tommy doing his thing. This cat had a tremendous amount of pizzazz and got it on with a strong presence and classy flair. The funkadelic "Bagitblues Deluxe", "Homeward Strut" and opener "The Grind" all had to have worked wonders when it was time to get down underneath that glass disco ball in the 70's. Studio 54, baby…goin’ all the way back, before all of this techno BOOM!! BOOM!! BOOM!! crap started littering the clubs. Bluesy licks literally pepper these songs, with Tommy strutting about his business as bass lines crawl like a spider on the neck, and the drums keep the floor bouncing with a danceable beat and help to groove things up a tad right at the perfect times. This guy only surrounded himself with top notch musicians. "Crazed Fandango" totally reminds of those old Dirty Harry movies with its “always on the move” pacing, while "People, People" and "Journey" each possess a Bob Marley-esque vibe that has me picturing Tommy up there in the heavens with a cocktail in one hand and a fatty of ganja in the other. This album will definitely appeal to guitar players, and I don’t care if you think you're the riff master general…there’s something to be heard here for all guitar players to appreciate. Don’t get me wrong, Whips and Roses II will not just appeal to guitar players, but to people who are just fans of good music. "Spacey Noodles" is a very deep track that almost has a noisy ambience to it in the early going, then around the 3:00 mark it’s time for Tommy to get down and boogie. This is probably my favorite track on the album and shows Tommy at his best. Truly inspirational. There’s saxophone, 70’s sounding keys, some female vox…just great musicianship all over the place on this record.
At the end of the day this won’t appeal to everyone, but Tommy Bolin fans will definitely want it and are sure to appreciate it. I’ve enjoyed it and could see it sneaking into the rotation from time to time. People who remember Tommy Bolin would tell you that the guy was way before his time, and left us much earlier than he should have.
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