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STONEY CURTIS BAND ‘Acid Blues Experience’ Provogue (2005)

Searing rocking blues yes, an ‘Acid Blues Experience’ I think not. This album will undoubtedly appeal to Rock blues guitar fans, but maybe only those for who the songs are a secondary consideration.

The South Californian based Stoney Curtis Band come out the traps like a rabbit being chased by a wolf and effortlessly live up to their power rock trio genre, but unfortunately they don’t hold back often enough

Stoney Curtis’s hails from Chicago, and his blues influences are embellished by a wide range of incredible riffs. The band is wound up so tight, that it positively explodes on the opening track “Last Train To Chicago” onwards, with a blistering volley of relentless riffs, the tightest rhythm section imaginable and some powerhouse rock blues that will surely leave them with a big audience with guitar fans.

There is a down side though, and if this is Acid Blues, then Stoney clearly forgot about gathering together his mind expanding lyrics, as frankly tracks like ‘Evil Woman’ border on embarrassing cliché. But no matter, this is a great guitar album and on the instrumental shuffle ‘Mulholland Drive’ Stoney shows he can master light and shade, as he builds a superb solo around the ever present excellence of magnificent drummer Charles Glover and bassist Colby Smith.

Overall, the successes numbered the shortfalls even if some efforts like ‘Bullets’ are very derivative. On the latter track the solo comes right out of the Robin Trower riff book, while the hugely impressive ‘Colors’ features an opening Isley Brothers guitar line. Similarly the rocker ‘Baby Needs Lovin’ is a thinly disguised reworking of ‘Treat Her Right’ and the power riffs on and rumbling bass on “Free” come very close to Joe Gooch’s led Ten Years After.

That said, Stoney is undoubtedly a fiery and exciting guitarist, and this trio embody such raw power and drive that the band will almost certainly sweep all before them and become festival favourites within the year. And if nothing else the relentless riffs to be found on ‘Acid Blues Experience’ mean Stoney Curtis will shortly be ascending the ranks of guitar heroes.


Review by Pete Feenstra

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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