Doc and Friends – Twenty Five Years Ago | Album Review

Doc and Friends – Twenty Five Years Ago


 CD: 9 Songs, 42:00 Minutes  

Styles: Contemporary Electric Rock, Blues Rock, All Original Songs, Debut Album

Here’s a chicken-or-egg-type conundrum for you, Constant Readers: When you hear/read the phrase “blues-based rock,” is it redundant or not? Even Muddy Waters sang, “The blues had a baby, and they called it rock and roll.” Twenty Five Years Ago, the very first collaboration from Barcelona’s Doc and Friends, demonstrates this loud and clear. Even though there’s nary a pure blues number on the album, there are tracks such as “When the Blues Knocks on my Door,” “Melody Street Blues,” and “Sunshine Blues.” Esteban “Doc” Abad slings red-hot guitar here, a natural import from Spain, and the lead female vocals by Mónica Samit are heartfelt if a bit flat. Some of the songs’ lyrics are a bit perplexing, such as “The moon is hot tonight” and “I don’t want, I don’t care, I don’t need.” However, spicy instrumentation more than makes up for this flaw. On top of that, each of the nine selections is original. Pop this CD in your stereo if you’re having a summer party, where tiki torches blaze and adult beverages flow freely.

Doc and Friends is a project begun by “Doc” Abad more than twenty-five years ago, where the passion for blues and guitar coincide. The process, slow and leisurely, was shaped by the circumstances of life and the desire to learn and improve with each lived experience. Along with Doc on electric guitar, the “Friends” include vocalists Mónica Samit and Miguel Talavera, bassist Jordi Franco, drummer Miguel Ballester, and David Sam on piano and keyboards.

You could call the song below a homage piece, meaning homage to traditional blues, and you’d hit the nail on the head. It’s rock, but one of the pieces that shows its base color more vividly.

Track 07: “Melody Street Blues” – Calling Otis Rush’s “Double Trouble” and “Gambler’s Roll” by the Allman Brothers to mind, lucky number seven has a fantastic guitar-and-horn intro, each instrument meshing smoothly with the others. A saga of “hard times, hard times on Melody Street,” it’s instantly relatable when you find out “bloody money never comes.” Yours truly would like to see the band try this one out at a live outdoor festival. It’d be a hit for sure.

Twenty Five Years Ago, Doc and Friends staged this project, and it’s a rock-and-roll showcase!

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