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Supersonic Blues Machine - Californisoul album review

This blues machine’s got soul

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.