• Fabrizio Grossi Talks About Eric Gales, Joe Louis Walker, Ana Popovic, Sonny Landreth, & the Whole Supersonic Blues Machine

    Posted June 20ww

    FabrizioGrossi129If it’s blues, then Boomerocity wants to hear about it no matter who’s singing or playing it. When it’s a super group like the renowned Supersonic Blues Machine, then it’s wet-our-pants time around here.

    For the uninitiated, Supersonic Blues Machine is a band whose core sprung from Goodfellas – a side gig that Boomerocity friend and guitar phenom, Steve Lukather had going on. That section consisted of legendary drummer, Kenny Aronoff, Kris Barras (who has replaced Lance Lopez) on guitar and vocals, and bassist/producer Fabrizio Grossi.

    Each of SBM’s albums features a who’s who of amazing artists as honored guests to play along with the trio. Those guests have included Billy F. Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Steve Lukather, Jonny Lang, Shemekia Copeland, Walter Trout, Robben Ford, and others.

    The band has a new album out titled “Voodoo Nation” and I must say that I think it’s arguably their best album yet. Guests include Joe Louis Walker, Eric Gales, Sonny Landreth, Ana Popovic, King Solomon Hicks, Josh Smith Kirk Fletcher, and Charlie Starr (of Blackberry Smoke). With guests like those stellar musicians on a record, you know without any doubt that you’re in for a great musical time.

    I connected with Fabrizio Grossi via Zoom to chat about the new album and some of its backstory. It was a fun, laidback chat that I think you will enjoy. Please watch it and then share it with your friends. You can order the album by clicking on the album cover located with the album press release shown below the interview video.

    You can keep up with the latest on Supersonic Blues Machine at their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (but they say that they don’t tweet), and YouTube.

    The Boomerocity Interview With Fabrizio Grossi

     

    Press Release

    voodoonationcoverClick Above To Order Your CopySupersonic Blues Machine Announces New Album, 'Voodoo Nation,' out June 24th via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group

    'Voodoo Nation' features special guests Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Eric Gales, Joe Louis Walker, Ana Popovic, Kirk Fletcher, King Solomon Hicks, Josh Smith, and Sonny Landreth

    Supersonic Blues Machine will release their brand-new studio album Voodoo Nation on June 24th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group. Once again, the again features a reunion of some of the most exciting icons and names in blues: Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Eric Gales, Joe Louis Walker, Ana Popovic, Kirk Fletcher, King Solomon Hicks, Josh Smith & Sonny Landreth.

    "The general discontent in the world at the moment is so widespread, we get told to embrace it because that's life," says bassist Fabrizio Grossi. "No, that's not life," he asserts. "It's how we're forced to live nowadays. Voodoo Nation refers to the times we're living in, at least here in the States, but I guess the whole world can relate. We're getting to the point where we're living out life almost as Zombies. We're little machines."

    But there is always hope, which is what Supersonic Blues Machine has always been about.

    At the core of the band is producer/bass player Fabrizio Grossi (Steve Vai, Alice Cooper, George Clinton, Slash) and drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, Meat Loaf, Brandon Flowers, John Fogerty, Red Hot Chili Peppers) with British rocker Kris Barras replacing Lance Lopez as singer-guitarist. Barras has a recent UK Top 30 album chart hit in March himself, and he is leading the pack of the British hard rock revival with several A-list singles, BBC Radio appearances and sell-out shows.

    Voodoo Nation is the band’s third studio album. "Kris comes from this British school of hard rock and blues," Grossi says. "This is a different sound to Kenny and me with the Allman Brothers, Sly Stone & The Family & Mountain. On Californisoul (2017), we were going more West Coast Funkadelic 60s and overall jam vibe. Blues but with more of a hippy flower power. With Kris, we wanted his footprint there, so that's why you hear Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Gary Moore. Kind of a Union Jack imprint over a Star-Spangled Banner."

    The lyrical front on Voodoo Nation is less forgiving than everything in the past. "I'm not saying f*** flower power because that's always the message," Grossi says. "But there are very introspective things and a lot of the theatrics that we are dealing with on this record which I would say are fairly common in the blues but are dealt with a twist. There is a lot of Devil's stuff in this record."

    Louisiana slide-god Sonny Landreth features on the haunting "8 Ball Lucy." The song is a story about it being "easy to fall into temptation when you're broken down and somebody comes along saying all the right things. That's the true Devil, and she's so good at playing her cards," he says. The 8-minute "Devil at the Doorstep" features Eric Gales – whose recent album Crown was a #1 Blues Billboard hit. "With Eric, it can start as a 3-minute 12 bars Blues and morph into an epic Led Zeppelin Dazed and Confused thing. I also think it's a perfect soundtrack for a horror movie…If the story wasn't real!" he adds.

    They underline problems faced by musicians on "Coming Thru" and "Get It Done" - the latter features Josh Smith and "Do It Again" is another firecracker that rounds off the theme with Ana Popovic. Young Harlem blues-sensation King Solomon Hicks features on the call to arms "You and Me." The band's trademark soulful blues sound can be heard beautifully on "I Will Let It Go," featuring Kirk Fletcher, and the sumptuous "Is It All" with the legendary Joe Louis Walker. The album closes with the inspirational Rootsy Rock "All Our Love" featuring Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr.

    The song came together in the summer of 2020 whilst there were the biggest fires in living memory in California. "I was dropping off donated clothes in Woodland Hills. We were heading down through the infamous 405 and were literally driving through fire - on both sides of the road."

    "I realized that we're in one of the world's richest cities, and there's discontent, plus climate change and everything else going on. How is this happening? It's total devastation. I was like, no, no, we need a major reset here. For all the wrongs in the world to be fixed, it requires all our love. That's the song, a message of hope," Grossi ends.

    'Voodoo Nation' by Supersonic Blues Machine

    1. Money
    2. Too Late
    3. Coming thru
    4. You And Me (feat. King Solomon Hicks)
    5. Get It Done (feat. Josh Smith)
    6. 8 Ball Lucy (feat. Sonny Landreth)
    7. Devil At The Doorstep (feat. Eric Gales)
    8. Is It All (feat. Joe Louis Walker)
    9. Do It Again (feat. Ana Popovic)
    10. I Will Let Go (feat. Kirk Fletcher)
    11. Voodoo Nation
    12. All Our Love (feat. Charlie Starr)
  • Lance Lopez Live In NYC

         

    Lance Lopez Live in NYC
    Lance Lopez
    Label: Cleopatra Blues
    Release Date: February 3, 2016
    Review Date: February 28, 2016

    Unless you’re a hard core blues fan, there’s a better than even chance that you may not have heard of Lance Lopez. If so, you don’t know what you’ve been missing.

    A friend and a protégé, of sorts, of the late, great Johnny Winter, Lopez as been lighting up the blues scene across the country (but ‘specially in Texas) since he was fourteen years young.

    Lopez’s latest offering is actually one of two new discs that he’s put out (the other being the debut record of his super group, Supersonic Blues Machine. See our review of it on Boomerocity.). Live In NYC is Lance’s new live album that was never intended to be recorded. 

    Performing in NYC at B.B. King’s for the late Johnny Winter’s last birthday party, the gig was recorded, unbeknownst to Lance. A few months later, Winter’s wing man, Paul Nelson, called up Lopez to say that he was listening to some great music from that night and wanted to put it out as record. The result is “Lance Lopez Live In NYC”.

    Chock full raw, blues and energy, the disc show that Lance Lopez clearly has the Johnny Winter’s mantel upon his shoulders, heavy with the dust from the crossroads. 

    Yeah, it – and he – is that good.

    Lance Lopez Live In NYC is one of THE must-have blues albums of 2016.

     

     

  • West of Flushing, South of Frisco

         

    West of Flushing, South of Frisco
    Supersonic Blues Machine
    Label: Provogue
    Review Date: February 28, 2016

    It’s always a joyous occasion when Boomerocity receives a blues project to review. We had a double whammy when we received the debut release of the blues super group, Supersonic Blues Machine, entitled, West of Flushing, South of Frisco. The other whammy was the new live album by SBM’s guitarist, Lance Lopez. 

    In addition to Lopez, the band consists of Fabrizio Grossi (bass/producer/engineer/wordsmith), and Kenny Aronoff (drums). Grossi worked his artistry in his birthplace - Milan, Italy - before migrating to London, Canada, New York, and currently Los Angeles.  Aronoff (drums) has a resume that spans four decades and reads like a “Who’s Who” of roots rock legends, including John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Eric Clapton, Jack White, Billy Gibbons, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and Dr. John. 

    Texan Lance Lopez (guitar/vocals) accrued at least one lifetime of experience before he was out of high school while playing bars in Louisiana and Florida. College came in the form of tours with R&B legend Johnny Taylor and blues masters Lucky Peterson and Bobby Blue Bland. 

    Supersonic Blues Machine stems from Fabrizio Grossi’s desire to return to his roots. “The blues is what makes me tick. It is the main ingredient of any successful musical recipe,” he explains. “It is like pasta in Italian food. You can add all the ingredients you like and any sauce, but the pasta is the core of the dish. I’m the chef and blues is my pasta.” 

    Like a great recipe, Supersonic Blues Machine adds carefully chosen flavorings to its blues stock. “Blues is my passion but my favorite bands have always been eclectic, like the Beatles, Queen, Toto, and Earth, Wind and Fire,” Grossi continues. “I wanted to apply their lessons to Supersonic Blues Machine, and my band mates totally get that.” Aronoff calls it “a blast from the past aimed at the future.” Says Grossi, “You will feel B.B. King’s presence on stage even though we might be wearing space suits.” 

    Grossi found a magical connection with Kenny Aronoff when the two toured as the rhythm section of Toto guitarist Steve Lukather’s side Jam band “Goodfellas.” 

    The next step came when Lance Lopez contacted Grossi about working on the Texas guitar whiz’s new solo project. While they were recording, Grossi got a call from Billy Gibbons, whom he had met on a Los Angeles session. The ZZ Top guitarist had known Lopez as a young blues prodigy, and strongly suggested Grossi and Lopez join forces. It was the Reverend Billy G’s blessing that helped birth Supersonic Blues Machine, and a stronger imprimatur for a nascent blues-rock project would be hard to find. 

    The first tune recorded for the Supersonic Blues Machine project was “Running Whiskey,” written by Gibbons, Grossi, and Tal Wilkenfeld. It features Gibbons on guitar and vocals and helped forge the sound of this new blues-rock supergroup. “It had the twist on the blues that infuses all the other songs on the record,” says Grossi. 

    The guest guitarists on Supersonic Blues Machine’s debut West of Flushing, South of Frisco are not a random selection of famous names, but more like members of an extended family. “I have worked on projects with Warren Haynes [guest and co-writer on ‘Remedy’], and when he tours anywhere near Dallas, he will always have Lance sit in,” Grossi explains. Lopez and Chris Duarte (“That’s My Way”) have been friends for years, and the SBM guitarist grew up with guest Eric Gales (“Nightmares and Dreams”). Walter Trout (“Can’t Take It No More”) is yet another member of this blues fraternity who, despite battling health issues, was anxious to contribute to the project. Finally, Grossi describes Robben Ford (“Let’s Call It a Day”) as the “classiest guy” he knows. “All these people light up the room when they walk in,” he says. 

    European and North American tours are planned. “It was important for us to do this with people who can eventually join us live on stage when we tour,” says Grossi. “Every night will see different guests appearing. It will be like The Who’s ‘Magic Bus’ tour.” 

    Supersonic Blues Machine marks a new page in the story of three creative musicians with a history of lending their prodigious talents to others. “Here, the artist is us, no boss to follow or established identities to be maintained,” says Aronoff. “We’re writing our own book, and when you have been blessed and enriched by having collaborated with so many significant artists, your vocabulary gets richer.” Adds Lopez: “We’re mixing all the shades of the blues with our personal sound.”