Micki Free – Turquoise Blue
Dark Idol Music Co.
14 songs time – 60:11
Guitar slinger-singer Micki Free mainly eschews his given title of blues-rocker for heavy-handed noisy guitar-based rock. He claims Irish, Cherokee and Apache bloodlines. His band consists of the usual suspects of keyboards, bass and drums, along with a list of guest stars. In the midst of the guitar bashing he manages moments of mellowness. His voice traverses the spectrum from harsh rocker to sensitive rocker. Fans of 70s arena rock will feel right at home here.
Aside from his spot on cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower”, Jimi’s influence appears on a few tracks. As on “World-On Fire”, Micki’s guitar can pierce the air with a confident attack. Andy Vargas handles the vocals on this song. Throughout the proceedings various guitar heavy hitters contribute to the kaos-Steve Stevens(Billy Idol), Gary Clark,Jr. and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.
“The Big Regret”, “Spring Fever” and “Blue Memories” find the music in a more mellow and introspective mood. The more prevalent sound here is the “balls to the walls” power chord rock manifested in songs like “Ridin-420”, “Bye 2020”, “Heavy Mercy”, “Invitation Love” and “Ring Of Fire”. Micki unleashes a virtual guitar onslaught with occasional assists from guest axe-slingers. A Hendrix-like vibe energizes “Heavy Mercy”, with some riffs almost sound like they were lifted from a Hendrix track. I give this as a compliment. He applies the master’s sound to create something of his own.
“Invitation-Love” is a nice wah-wah crazed rocker with Hendrix twiddling magic. Trish Bowden lends her wailing pipes to “Come Home Big Man” as she shares the vocal duty with Micki. Micki’s blazing guitar and Mark “Muggy Do” Leach’s piano combine with the vocals to make this an intense workout. Blues guitar phenom Christone “Kingfish” Graham” contributes a high energy blues solo to “Judicator Blues”, the only blues-rock tune here. Another blues-rock hero, Gary Clark,Jr. does the same for “Woman”. “Blue Memories” takes things out on a mellow vibe as it leads off with ringing acoustic guitar underneath whimsical electric guitar flourishes that can only be called elegant as they drift through the air.
The music here varies from hard hitting rock to more eloquent rock musings. Supporting Micki’s effort is an able band consisting of Soaring “Hawk” Lopez on drums, Ken “Mojo Man” Riley on bass, Mark “Muggy Do” Leach on keyboards and Trish Bowden on background vocals. That, along with the various special guest contributions. It all harkens back to the days when some of the heavy rockers included some lighter songs in their repertoire. A well-blended album of various approaches. Worth checking out.