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haveguitarcoverHave Guitar, Will Travel
Artist: Joe Perry
Label: Roman Records
Reviewed: October, 2009

October 6th saw the release of Aerosmith’s Joe Perry’s fifth solo project, entitled, “Have Guitar, Will Travel”. For Joe Perry fans, this is a must-buy CD as it’s jam-packed full with ten butt-kicking tunes that have Joe’s trademark licks and riffs throughout. The project was recorded earlier this year In Joe’s home studio famed for having some of the latest and greatest recording gear on the planet. It was at this same studio that Perry recorded his last (and self-titled) solo project as well as Aerosmith’s Just Push Play and Honkin’ On Bobo.

The disc kicks off with a with “We’ve Got a Long Way To Go”, which give you the feeling that you’re watching a movie in your head at quadruple fast-forward. Perry’s flawlessHav riffs provides the song with light-speed velocity that you get the impression that Joe’s guitar is a super-sonic jet that he’s piloting and we’re all barely holding on to its tail.

“Slingshot” is the second number on the disc and has a Doors/Morrisonesque flavor to it with a healthy dose of Joe’s guitar magic thrown in for good measure. “Do You Wonder” follows , was written by Billie Perry and producer/musician/songwriter, Marti Fredrickson and could’ve very easily been on an Aerosmith project, judging by the sound of it.

Perry’s cover of an early Fleetwood Mac tune, Somebody’s Going To Get (Their Head Kicked In Tonite), is the only other song on “Guitar” that wasn’t written by him and is delivered with reverential, rock and roll perfection. “Heaven and Hell” is a solidly driven song that I will be not at all surprised to hear playing as a musical backdrop in a movie or TV show and promises to be a true crowd pleaser when performed live. On its heels s the equally driven “No Surprise” which I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the likes of Gretchen Wilson or Sugarland picking up the tune to play in-concert.

“Wooden Ships” is, in my opinion, the absolute best cut on the album. An instrumental dedicated to the memory of guitar legend, Les Paul, the song is a tremendous, blazing example of Perry’s legendary guitar virtuosity. This is a tune already destined for the “repeat” feature on my iPod.

The hauntingly accoustic, “Oh Lord (21 Grams) is by far the most moving song on the album. Lauren Mack provides the perfect vocal touch that will send shivers down your spine. As with “Heaven and Hell”, this tune is destined to be picked up as TV or movie background.

“Scare The Cat” (which is the theme song to one of my favorite pass-times) is great, straight-forward rock and roll. What more can I say. “Freedom”, a song inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s, “Fear and Loathing”, is Perry’s view of the world during the last presidential campaign cycle. If a video was ever made of this song, it promises to be another “fast-forward” visual like the album’s opening number, “We’ve Got a Long Way To Go”.

Joe Perry amassed a stellar commando team of musicians for “Have Guitar, Will Travel”. “Joe Perry Project” bassist, David Hull, is back. Drums are flawlessly provided by Ben Tileston (who also happens to play in TAB The Band with two of Joe’s sons, Tony on guitars and Adrian providing bass and vocals), Marty Richards, and Scott Meeder. The ivories were tickled by Willie (Boston’s “Godfather of Punk”) Alexander and the Hammond and Pipe organs (as well as some percussion) were offered up by Paul Santo. All the creative sound effects wore crafted by Glen McCarthy.

An interesting little bit of “Have Guitar, Will Travel” trivia for you: The vocals provided on four of the tunes are provided by a German singer, Hagen Grohe, who Billie Perry (Joe’s wife) discovered quite by accident on YouTube. How cool is that?

“Have Guitar, Will Travel” is currently available and conveniently in time to help you provide all of those darn stocking stuffers for Christmas.