Michael Harrison Blues – Fortune Favors The Brave | Album Review

michaelharrisonbluescdMichael Harrison Blues – Fortune Favors The Brave

Self-Release 2014 


10 tracks; 49 minutes 

Michael Harrison wrote all the material on this album, his fifth release.  Recorded in Denver by Ron Jolly who plays keys, Michael handles all vocals and guitar with Ron Bland on bass and Mike Marlier on drums.  Bob Rebholz adds sax to most tracks.

The material is generally in the melodic rock-blues category.  Michael’s singing is not his strongest suit so he turns to the quality of the material and the playing, both of which are OK.  A song like “Gonna Love You All Up” has plenty going for it, a catchy chorus, excellent piano and some very pleasant guitar, whereas the aggressive wah-wah on opener “I Love Lookin’ At The Stars” is distracting.

The title track is bluesier with Ron J on both organ and piano and an insistent rhythm.  “World spinning so fast, out of control, time’s runnin’ out to find peace for your soul” sings Michael, immediately followed by an excellent sax solo and more distracting wah-wah on the outro.  The “Long Legged Woman” of the next cut is, in fact, an internet connection who Michael has never actually met; another strong contribution from Bob’s sax here.

“Tribute To The Band” opens with guitar more Santana than Robbie Robertson and as Michael sings of the “cool cats playing downtown” it becomes clear that the song relates to the band with which Michael plays in Denver!  “Dust To Stone” relates to the fate of the North American Indians, a good song, well played.

“Can’t Stop Thinking Of You” is a straightforward love song embellished by Ron J’s piano and a fine bass solo from Ron B before Bob’s tenor adds a short solo.  “In The Right Circles” is another strong song, dealing with the corporate ladder to success; “In the right circles success is your due; take care of the corporation, they’ll take care of you”.  Using a rhythm axed round Michael’s insistent riff and Ron’s piano, Michael double tracks his best solo of the album.

The longest cut here is “All Tore Down”, a song of lost love which has a nice jazzy feel, with solo spots for everyone, starting with some jazzy sax and late night piano and a plucked bass solo in the middle section.  Michael closes the album with the acoustic “You Hold My Heart In Your Hands”, wearing his heart on his sleeve.

There are some fine original songs here, well played by the band. Michael doesn’t have the strongest vocal to deliver those songs but all credit to him for his efforts.

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