Torquay’s dazzling blues-man KRIS BARRAS has already been chosen as one of the “Top Blues Guitarists in the World” by Music Radar — and when the British guitarist/vocalist was asked to front the U.S. super-group, SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE with legendary artists such as: ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Steve Lukather (Toto), Eric Gales, Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule) and Walter Trout… folks began to sit up and take notice.
Like many similar guitar prodigies, Barras says he was inspired by his Dad to play guitar, he picked up the instrument at age five and began playing on stage around the age of ten. The KRIS BARRAS BAND (with Barras on guitar & vox, Elliott Blackler on bass, Will Beavis on drums and Josiah J Manning on keys) have experienced an unusually swift rise to success — no doubt fueled by Kris’s unquenchable work-ethic and tenacious resolve.
Now the band bring their third album to fans: “Light It Up” due September 13, 2019 via Mascot Label Group.
“What You Get” is an exciting rock ‘n’ roller with gutsy voice, home-grown stompiness and the kind of bounce that elevates your spirit all day. The ferrous freedom of the rusty strings gives this piece a sense of extemporaneous exuberance. Yeah, it’s piping hot! “You better believe what you see is what you get...”
“Broken Teeth” is a bottleneck slider, string bender, and has an authentic rock ‘n’ country style swamp-stomp that’s not a million miles from the the kind of twang ‘n’ glam gratification we got from Bon Jovi back in the mid Eighties.
“Ignite (Light It Up)” has a sullied organ and sizzling riff. The melody is attractive and the choir compulsive. The guitar-work comes in gigantic arcs of iron sulfide and sparkles of silvery-white luster. There is a lot of emotional range in that voice too, as Barras comes across like a macho animal but doesn’t bring unnecessary bravado.
“Let The River Run Through You” is a gentle hallelujah tick-tock and a paean to the power of an inner being and, perhaps, the need to refresh and motivate a tired mind ‘n’ exhausted body. Therefore, this is powerful & spiritual, healing stuff… like glugging a restorative slosh of Clark Stanley’s liniment and feeling all the better for it.
The album concludes with the steady blues-rock slugger: “Pride Is Forever” that brings the sound and sentiment of “Fire and Water” era FREE back into your life (albeit with some swishy organ accompaniment.) Altogether, this is moving, soulful, tight and gritty.
“Light It Up” is unrestrained testament to the healing power of rockin’ dudes playing rocking blues. Is Barras gonna take over, where Tony Joe White left off?
File alongside: Chicken Shack