“It’s great to hear Gary sing and play the blues with his trademark intensity, feel and authenticity. And the guitar tones! “Dust & Bones is a great sounding Blues/Rock album that’s both vintage and modern at the same time.”
It’s just so right-with-the-universe that Gary Hoey’s 20th album, Dust & Bones [Mascot Label Group], is an exuberant fusion of blues and rock. After all, this accomplished and diverse guitarist has explored several styles in his career—hard rock, rock, surf, and prog, to name a few—and he came home to the blues with 2013’s Deja Blues.
Now, Hoey has forged his deep blues and rock roots into a fiery, organic, and thrilling mix that should delight and astound lovers of the guitar and guitar music.
Gary Hoey Dust & Bones Review by Scott Thomas
I reached out to Mrs. Hoey and requested a copy of Gary's newest CD so that I may review it after I received Gary's righteous newsletter. Gary is gearing up for his annual Ho! Ho! Hoey Tour. I thought it would be a great time to finally do this review in front of his new Christmas Tour.
Plus, I'm getting into the holiday season myself. My creativity level rises during this time of year. There is excitement in the air.
Well, well, well.... What do we have here? All aboard!!! "Box Car Blues" is the first song coming down the tracks. The music starts out slow and swampy sounding with the dobro guitar and Gary's antique raspy voice. The shanty vocals sound like they were recorded in the early 1930s. As the song"s story unfolds you can feel the steam building within the music. The band really funks it up but still keeps it heavy... You get the feeling you are going to be in for a great ride. The band is tight and you lock in real quick with the groove. Impeccable playing from everyone in the band. You can't help from swaying to and fro with this one. Gary does an excellent job on slide guitar. One thing I don't like is when the slide work is overdone. Mr. Hoey keeps it real and delivers a great performance.
I love swing / jump blues. It was very popular in the 1940s, and the movement was a precursor to the arrival of rhythm and blues and rock and roll. From time to time, I enjoy hanging at the Continental Club here Austin, Texas for a good romp back in time. Swing is where it's at Kat!!! Gary and the Band throw down on this one called "Whose Your Daddy". Think "Stray Cats"... The production sounds huge... Gary's lead playing and tones speak volumes. The background vocals with the call and response harmonies is just the right touch to bring this train back home to the the Station.
“Looking back from my first album in 1992, it sure seems like I’m musically schizophrenic,” says Hoey. “But I truly believed in every style I played. I still do. I wanted to master everything—or at least try to—and every lick from every style I’ve absorbed informs everything I do today. And I love that, because all of that diversity helps me come up with riffs, licks, and melodies that are perhaps deeper and more unique than if I had stayed exclusively with one style.”
One thing that always stays consistent, however, is Hoey’s impassioned command of the guitar. He’s one of those guitarists who can attack his instrument with feral intensity, and then play something very soft and almost achingly beautiful. This ability to devise phrasing, technique, and tone in the service of feeling the music has not gone unnoticed.
“I had the pleasure of singing a duet with the great Mr Gary Hoey, on the beautiful ballad called “Coming Home.” It’s got some awesome guitar playing in it” ~ Lita Ford
Song number three "Born To Love" is a ZZ Top fueled romp with a cool wah-induced repeating guitar riff ala Hendrix. The maestro knows how to make those pinch-harmonics dance like ala Billy Gibbons. The amp sounds are warm and crisp overall. Shake a Leg!!!
If you like top forty classic rock then "Dust and Bones" will take you places. For me, it hearkens me back to those summers of my youth. Bands like Foreigner, April Wine, Brian Adams, Eddie Money, Styx, and Toto... Gary's lush chordal playing and melodic lead solo really tips the scales. The music is catchy and very radio friendly. This is a good one to sing to in your car... Yeah! I know... When nobody's looking right?
If you're a fan of blues legend Johnny Winters, then I say no more. The tune "Steamroller" will spell it out for you. You may want to hold on to your hat for this one. The percussion's and bass sound like a steamroller engine chuggin' away. The slide guitar work at times reminisces of the sounds of a train's whistle and once again, Gary's vocals are spot on! Take me back to the good ol' days...
Moving forward, Gary and Lita Ford slow things down a bit with a country-blues ballad called "Coming Home". Each take a turn per verse and then sing the chorus together. Perfect song to mix things up a bit.
"Gary Hoey’s awesome command of styles, tones, and techniques drives so many different moods on Dust & Bones that you’ll feel as if he transports you across the musical universe and beyond. Buckle up!"
~ Michael Molenda, Editor in Chief, Guitar Player magazine
"Ghost of Yesterday" and "This Time Tomorrow" both have that groovy Robin Trower vibe. One tune fast and one tune slow... The song writing is dynamic. Gary knows how to cleverly open things up around a tight hook. He knows where to drop in the sugar flakes to sweeten thingz up with different chord voicings and structures as he has with the song "Ghost of Yesterday". Next, "This Time Tomorrow" has the Trower's "Bridge of Sighs" feel to it. The vocals are very emotive and shows Gary's capabilities and flair. Obviously these two songs are a tribute to another great guitar legend.
"Back up Against the Wall" is a straight ahead boogie woogie that doesn't miss a beat. Gary pulls out all the stops on the marching syncopation of "Blind Faith". Did someone say Elmore James? The lighting slide guitar work electrifies the molecules in the room. The last uptown all instrumental blues song "Soul Surfer" brings the album to a fitting end. Once again, Gary's guitar playing is exceptional. So grab your boards and let's go catch us some gnarly waves Dude!!!
Parting shot across the bow... A solid album with great songs along with fabulous production qualities, fresh vocals, exceptional musicianship, and last but not least, tasty guitar playing.
~ Five Starz
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