Thursday, October 4, 2012

Album Review: “Detonation” by Dave Fields


  • Audio CD (September 18, 2012) Number of Discs: 1 Label: Field of Music Records
  • Run Time: 63 minutes ASIN: B009DWELBU In-Print Editions: MP3 Music

Every few years a new crop of Blues Rock guitarists appear on the scene, oozing out of garages, barrooms and off of street corners where the neighborhood watch committee finally got street light erected. It started in the ‘60s, really, with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and then the Americans, Mike Bloomfield, Ry Cooder, Johnny Winter. The 70s gave us Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Santana, Duane Allman, the 80s Mark Knopfler and so on. Kenny Wayne Shepard, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and many more have come on the scene since. It’s an attractive niche to try and fit into. It has so much room to shine. And it is easy to fail; get lost in the crowd. There’s the whole “cross roads” myth about having to sell your soul to really be granted that extra something that it takes to be the next Jimi Hendrix, the next Robert Johnson.

Dave Fields is in the new crop and he just may have it. Hi third album,  Detonation, explodes with a harder rocking sound drenched in many a variety of styles touching on classic rock , jazz-blues and reggae mixed in with a blast of blinding blues that pays tribute, most notably to Beck and Hendrix with nods to Buddy Guy (especially in those passages where the notes fly off his ax like shrapnel in the middle of soulful songs).

“Addicted To Your Fire” Dave Fields from the album “Detonation”

From the first notes of the opening song, “Addicted To Your Fire” (which you’d have to be blind or deaf not to recognize Hendrix “Stand Next To You Fire” in) it is apparent that he is setting the bar at Jimi height.

Fields explores 1960s psychedelia on “Prophet in Disguise,” a melodic track with an Eastern-influenced guitar lick that is more David Gilmour than George Harrison. Track three is a favorite. “Doin Hard Time,” is slow, smoldering blues duet with Grammy Award Winning blues singer and guitarist,  Joe Louis Walker that works very well. Track five is a fun song, “Bad Hair Day,” is an interesting mix of reggae and the blues, vowing not to let his hair get him down.

“Pocket Full Of Dust” Dave Fields
On “Better Be Good” you can hear him channeling SRV to good effect. It delivers some social commentary and his guitar is at the best here as he pulls everything out of his bag of tricks. The purest blues tune on the album is probably “Pocket Full Of Dust”, The guitar attacks and it stings. It’s soaked in blues soul ala Buddy Guy and the great Chicago stylists. The organ of Vladimir Barsky works well behind his guitar explosions and drummer Kenny Soule and bassist Andy Huenerberg round out his band quite well.

Detonation is produced by David Z (Prince, Johnny Lang, Etta James, Buddy Guy) and  is a 12-song exploration of Fields’  electrifying guitar prowess. This album has the feel of Fields stepping out of the pure blues spot light and expanding his sound into more rock, but he never, like all the greats before him, completely abandons the blues, instead he has absorbed them and is ready to let the blues be his foundation for what he creates from here on out.


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Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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