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

Whitford / St. Holmes – Reunion with Bonus CD
Mailboat Records

Rating: B

Derek St. Holmes is best known as being the vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent.  Derek’s voice is heard on some of Ted’s biggest hits, including “Stranglehold.”  Brad Whitford is the ‘other’ guitar player in Aerosmith, often hidden in the shadow of the more visually iconic Joe Perry.  Brad’s resume is still pretty damn saucy, however, penning some of the ‘Smith’s biggest tunes including “Kings and Queens,” “Round and Round,” “Last Child” and “Nobody’s Fault.” 

Back in 1981, the two musicians teamed up and released a self-titled debut album produced by the legendary Tom Allom (Judas Priest).  It was a good album—not great—but good.  It failed to take either of them to the next level in their ‘new’ career that they may have hoped for... yet, it was a solid effort. The duo has a very strong fan base that simply loves the album and considers it a rare gem.  Now, 35 years down the road, the two rockers have reunited for a new album titled—wait… you guessed it… Reunion! 

The first thing that jumps out when spinning these tunes—err, streaming these tunes—is that these rockers are smiling ear-to-ear loving their new creative process.  There is no going through the motions on this sucker. I would not go so far as to tout the album as an immediate classic, an incredible musical statement, or the best thing either man has done in his career… no, it is not quite any of those things.  Yet… this effort is good.  At moments, it is damn good.  Solid is the word that comes to mind.  This is a good old fashioned ‘70s/’80s hard rock album that is solid as a rock.  The songs are all good… some better than others, but nary a clunker is onboard.  The musicians are all damn fine (yes, that’s Tesla’s drummer on the album).  

Derek sings with that timeless voice that refuses to show any sign of age.  Brad, however, shows some signs of ageing (sorry Brad… it’s true, but chicks dig gray hair).  His playing, however, does not show any signs of fatigue.  Dude can flat out kick out a groove, a lick and a solo… no, age is not slowing him down a beat.  Together, they seem happy.  Truth be told, the first record was good, but this one is better.  “Hot For You,” “Hell is on Fire” and “Shapes” all are solid (there’s that word again) rock tunes that beckon you to listen to them again and again.  In fact, this is a throwback to the days when rock ‘n’ roll was fun and a concert was an experience.  On tour, the band is having a blast taking to the stage as they open for hard rock legends Whitesnake!  

At the end of the day, Derek and Brad seem pretty damn proud of themselves… and they should be.  They stayed true to to who they are and created exactly the record they wanted to create… and they avoided rehashing old ideas. 

Reunion is fun, fresh and comes from the right place.  Well done!

Oh… and if you hurry up and order here https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reunion-bonus-disc-version/id1111390652?app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Reunion includes a newly remastered copy / bonus disc of the band's debut self-titled album for free!

Now that’s the band doing you a real solid! (There’s that word again).

Reunion Track List (Disc 1):
    Tender Is the Night
    Rock All Day
    Hot for You
    Hell Is On Fire
    Catch My Fall
    Shake It
    Gotta Keep On Movin'
    Flood of Lies

Whitford/St. Holmes Track List (Bonus Disc 2):
    I Need Love
    Whiskey Woman
    Hold On
    Every Morning
    Shy Away
    Does It Really Matter
    Spanish Boy
    Mystery Girl

By Jeb “Solid” Wright
(There’s that word again)