RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Bachman - Heavy Blues
Linus Entertainment

Rating: B

Randy Bachman is that guy from that famous band that bears his last name, Bachman Turner Overdrive. In fact, he played the guitar solos, wrote most of their biggest hits and even sang several of their classic tunes.  Before that he was the guitar player and a songwriter for the iconic band The Guess Who.  In-between there was a band called Brave Belt, but we don't talk about that one so much... you know how it goes being in a rock band, sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss.

Bachman is back with a new album and power trio band that just uses his last name.  This time around, the music is a 'hit' even though there is no 'Turner' or 'Overdrive' to be found!  It's easy to guess who all of this is about!  This is Randy Bachman showing off 11 new tunes that he wrote and recorded with a couple of cool rocker chicks.  Anna Ruddick is a bad-ass low end grooving bass player, while drummer Dale Anne Brendon lays down a beat that allows the old man with the white beard to crank up big chords and melodic solos!

Okay, Randy and the Rocker Chicks (a sexist name for sure, but a cool one indeed) are not trying to relive the glory days of BTO.  They are, however, staying very true to what Bachman's fans love about him, which are those huge bombastic chords and melodic guitar solos.

They do, kinda sorta--well, let’s be honest... REALLY out front and in your face—rip-off the Who on the opening number "The Edge." Then again, this is rock and roll and this is Randy Bachman.  If he wants to jam on some Who-type chords and mix in his own brand of Bachman Turner Overdrive classic stylings over it, then I say, "Let him do so!"  There, it has been written and recorded, so let it be done!  Truth be told, the Who influence works for this track!  The tune starts off the album, sets the tone and the pace and the other tracks have to work hard to follow!

Bachman had a plan for that scenario, however... he simply invited some of his close buddies along for the ride, to add their own awesome sauce to the mix.  When you're talking Randy Bachman, then you're talking some pretty important rock and roll dudes.  Neil Young, who has known Randy since the good ole days of the 1960s, sits in on "Little Girl."  Peter Frampton adds a guitar to the title track, and the second best song on the album, I might add.  Joe Bonamassa chimes in on some serious blues/rock riffage on "Bad Child."  Robert Randolph, one of best lap-steel soloists around shines on "Oh My Lord."  Bachman called in the Rival Son guitarist to guest on "Ton of Bricks" as well.  "Confessin' to the Devil" is a song that Randy has had for a while, and this album gives him the opportunity to release it.  What makes the song extra special is the solo performed by the late, great Jeff Healey.

All in all, this is a solid slab of rock and roll.  It's 100% Randy Bachman with a kick-ass backing band and loads of big names thrown in for good measure.  The songs could easily have been reworked and released as a Bachman Turner album, but instead, the Seventy-Something year old guitarist wanted to do this one himself.  At the end of the day, it worked.  It is indeed something of a trip back in a time machine, but when it comes to Randy Bachman that's a damn good thing!  I would rather hear him staying true to himself, playing his own version of the styles that influenced him and having a good time than hearing him attempt to be 'relevant' in a music business that doesn't give a damn about stuff like that anymore.  Leave it to Bachman to have a do-it-yer-self attitude, crank it up to 11 and rock out in 2015.

CRR gives Bachman a 'hell yeah" for effort alone; the fact that this thing rocks is icing on the cake!

Track Listing:
The Edge
Ton of Bricks (featuring Rival Sons guitarist Scott Holiday)
Bad Child (featuring Joe Bonamassa)
Little Girl Lost (featuring Neil Young)
Learn to Fly
Oh My Lord (featuring Robert Randolph)
Confessin' to the Devil (featuring Jeff Healey)
Heavy Blues (featuring Peter Frampton)
Wild Texas Ride
Please Come to Paris (featuring Canadian folk-rock singer Luke Doucet)
We Need to Talk

By Jeb Wright