The Paul Nelson Band – Badass Generation | Album Review

paulnelsoncdThe Paul Nelson Band – Badass Generation

Friday Music

CD: 12 songs, 48:50 minutes

This album rocks. Both literally and figuratively.  Some might assert that The Paul Nelson Band’s music is rock and roll, but this album proves again that blues is rock and roll’s mama.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell for you, the guitar playing will. Paul Nelson’s list of credits is too extensive for this review, but includes touring, performing or recording with a loooong list of top artists from every corner of the blues world, such as Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, Joe Perry, Dr. John, Susan Tedeschi, Hubert Sumlin and James Cotton (just to name a few!).  You certainly hear the influences of these masters in the songs.

The album consists of twelve originals written by Nelson. Vocalist Morten Friedheim wrote the lyrics on two of the songs.  The lyrics don’t break new ground, but then we are not listening to this album to learn that “she’s the root of all evil”, ”a cold hearted mama”, or “she’s trouble”.  We’re listening to this album because it makes you want to get up out of your chair and shake it.

Rarely slowing down, the music is power packed. Friedheim’s vocals are a great match for the gritty guitar work from Nelson.  Although this is Nelson’s band, and he wrote the songs, he doesn’t overwhelm the songs with his guitar playing.  Don’t misunderstand, these are guitar driven songs.  But when the guitar comes in for its solo, it’s the right time and place.

Nelson’s playing is superb and muscular. Guitar fans will get plenty to enjoy.  No surprise given his pedigree.  Nelson even adds some nice slide work on “Please Come Home“. And who can resist a happy break up song (“Goodbye Forever”).

The rhythm section of Chris Reddan on drums and Christopher Alexander on bass provide a solid foundation for Nelson to do his thing.

This record may not be breaking new ground musically, but it executes these blues rockers very well.

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