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Supersonic Blues Machine - Californisoul album review

This blues machine’s got soul

Supersonic Blues Machine - Californisoul album

They do like their big-name guests, eh? For the second Supersonic album, the trio have grabbed Eric Gales, Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, Walter Trout and Billy Gibbons. But Californisoul is so good that it does not rely on any heavy-duty contributions from outsiders to make it one of the best blues-style albums of 2017.

Supersonic Blues Machine have groove, soul and style. Fabrizio Grossi has the sort of voice that tells of late-night bars with too much of the rye passing his lips, Lance Lopez plays guitar as if imbued with the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Duane Allman, and Kenny Aronoff swings behind the drums.

Every track is one to savour, having a gospel twang mixed with a twist of gutter brio and a sense of illicit melody.

Gibbons adds his shuffle to Broken Heart, while Gales wails in a highly accomplished manner on Elevate, and Lukather broods on his guitar strings with Hard Times. But the best moments are L.O.V.E. and The One, where it’s just the band laid bare with utmost class and precision, but never sounding disciplined to the point of strangulation.

Sly Stone-meets-John Fogerty. Simply irresistible.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.