Earl Slick : Fist Full of Devils
Harnessing his musical roots as a child of the 60s when blue-based rock pushed its way to the front of the line and incorporating his decades as one of the most sought-after touring musicians in the business, Fistful is Slick as he has been from the start: an artist who fully mines the depths of the blues and guitar by drawing on a toolkit assembled from blues to glam to punk to rockabilly.
The 11-track album is no retread retrospective of his run of 40 years as a professional guitarist; it is an audible demonstration of a virtuoso still pushing deep into rock roots.
The instrumental album, Slick says, is acrobatics without a net.
Some of the tracks on Fistful were ideas that had been rattling around in his hear for decades. Some were wholly new. The sinister Black, for example, seemed to flow up from the ground when they entered studio, he said. It was written, in maybe 10 minutes, he said. It’s dark.
Contrast that with the soaring, diving number Vanishing Point. That was born in a lick he had saved nearly 30 years ago and only recently rediscovered in a sound file. He did not know what do with it when he wrote it, so he tucked it away. But now, all of these years later I came at it with a different head than I had then.
And this is what people are going hear in Fist Full of Devils he said: That lifelong journey from Brooklyn did not leave him empty handed; he brought back the prizes, the tricks, the scars, the influences and the tools from a road that never presented a detour. Or an end.
He is a man, after all, who knows a thing or two about persevering, about longshots and locked-in trajectories. Perseverance also had no backup plan when it was launched. It had to get there.
I am, Slick said. Exactly where I should be.
Earl Slick (Guitar)
Lee John (Drums)
Freddy Villano (Bass)
Al Marz (Piano)
Reeves Gabrels (Ambient Guitar)
Michael Houghton (Harmonica)
Michael Polito (Double Bass)
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180 gram double LP set in a gatefold sleeve plus Compact Disc
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