Dust and Bones is Gary Huey’s 20th album and this new 11 track exploration into a new seamless sound is his first for the Mascot Label, and in his own words from the press release, “This is the biggest-sounding album I’ve done in years”.
From the very first track “Boxcar Blues” (Robert Johnston meets Led Zeppelin on the PR release). this album gives you stories of railroads, open roads, playing bars, broken relationships and at time makes you feel like you are out there on the dusty roads with him. This one in particular sounds like it should have been on the classic “Paris Texas” film soundtrack.
“Who’s Your Daddy” needs no explanation to what it is about, and this track with its almost 1950s bluesy rockabilly style fusion just builds a picture in your mind of the band playing live at some bar in the middle of nowhere. This track is a musical tribute to the influence Brian Setzer has had on his music. It also tells me that I have to try and catch Gary Hoey next time he is touring in Scotland.
“Steamroller” with its drum intro setting the pace is a guitar tribute to one of Gary’s influences – Johnny Winter - and you can feel that this tribute comes right from his heart.
Robin Trower, and his influence on the sound of Gary Huey is also noted on “This Time Tomorrow”.
If I have a favourite on this album though it is “Coming Home” featuring Lita Ford (I remember buying those early albums from The Runaways all those years ago...where did they go to). This track is classic American radio airplay and could easily be one of those huge selling anthems from Bryan Adams – I hope it is a huge hit for Gary and Lita.
If you like your classic instrumental tracks then the last track here “Soul Surfer” is going to please you. Simply classic sounds.
There are a lot of musical styles and shades here to this album, but there is also as I said at the very beginning of this review a narrative unfolding, and it is well worth joining Gary Hoey on this audio trip of classic blues, rock’n’roll, classic rock and potential stadium anthems.
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Review by Tom King