Mike Osborn – Unbroken
Je Gagne Records – 2019
11 tracks; 42 minutes
Based in California, this is Mike Osborn’s third album release. His previous two releases were primarily blues-rock but on this disc Mike has taken something of a country detour and there is not much blues to be heard here. Mike wrote nine of the tracks with two coming from the combination of Dennis Walker (who wrote some of Robert Cray’s early successes) and the late Alan Mirikitani who produced Mike’s last album, 2014’s In The Dog House. Mike plays guitar and vocals with experienced session musicians Johnny Griparic (Walter Trout) on bass and Tom Fillman (Spencer Davis Group) on drums.
There are several cuts here that are country and/or pop and will be of little interest to Blues Blast readers. The tracks that can best be classed as blues are the following:
The opening track “Why” is a reprise of one of Mike’s earliest songs and it’s a rocker that finds Mike wondering why everything seems to be against him
Walker and Mirikitani’s “For The Last Time” is a soulful ballad with some lovely guitar phrasing set over lush keyboards (sadly not credited)
“Boys In The Band” is a boogie tune with a core riff over which Mike dubs some aggressive wah-wah guitar. The second Walker/Mirikitani song “Some Will Fall” is a rousing anthem with ringing guitars
There are some strong songs on the rest of the album, like the very personal “Family Crest” which might not have sounded out of place on an Eagles album – but they are definitely not blues. Readers who enjoy a musical diet beyond the blues may find this album to be of interest.