The vibe on Mick Abraham's Revived! is fun, relaxed, and raucous – more of a party than a recording session. Of course, when you're a rock icon yourself, the party's guest list is impressive indeed...
17 tracks 61:59
Mick Abrahams, at 71, could sit back and bask in the afterglow of his career as the original guitarist of Blodwyn Pig and a founding member of Jethro Tull – instead, he continues to work, producing albums with an array of musical friends. Abrahams' latest effort, Revived!, is a delightful collection of rock and R&B standards with a few originals mixed in for good measure. The vibe on Revived! is fun, relaxed, and raucous – more of a party than a recording session. Of course, when you're a rock icon yourself, the party's guest list is impressive indeed: Bill Wyman, Martin Barre (Abraham's successor in Jethro Tull), former Steely Dan guitarist Elliot Randall, Frank Mead, and Procol Harum band-mates Geoff Whitehorn (guitar) and Josh Phillips (organ) - just to name a handful.
Abrahams' guitar playing is a little slower these days (he's suffered “two heart failures and a stroke,” as he details on the accompanying limited-edition DVD) but is still bathed in the spirit of those delta blues. The project kicks off with a solid riff-driven tune penned by Abrahams, “Summer Day.” An economically-produced straight-ahead rocker with a killer vocal by Peter Eldridge, the song starts the album off with a bang and is surprisingly repeated as the closing track, but with the addition of Josh Phillips' at the Hammond organ. In between those cuts we have a musical sampler featuring everything from a live father and son acoustic duet by Mick and his son Alex (“Dragonfly”) to the rockin' “Boney Moronie,” and pretty much everything stylistically in-between.
Frank Mead's sax comes in handy while revisiting great old songs like Lieber and Stoller's “What About Us?,” and Chuck Berry's “Nadine,” - reminding us, along with some pretty hilarious lyrics, that there was a time when rock and roll was a lot more fun than it sometimes is these days. Of course, there's plenty of bluesy tracks of all kinds on the album, including the interesting choice of the Canned Heat classic, “On The Road Again” (this time you'll be able to understand the lyrics), and “Remember” - an Abrahams-penned original blues number that will steam up your speakers. And speaking of the blues, Mark Feltham and Paul Jones alternately do great harmonica work on various tracks.
Not every song is a winner, but the over-all relaxed feeling and good humor of the project compensates for the lapses. Fans of Geoff Whitehorn's incredible guitar skills might be disappointed with seeing him relegated to a minor role on songs that fail to provide the brilliant player an opportunity to shred (“Red River Rock” and “Boney Moronie”), and “Goodnight Irene” maybe should have been put to rest... but, hey – it's a party.
The CD/DVD limited edition is available at Gonzo: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/search/product_details/15786/Mick_Abrahams_and_Guests-Mick_Abrahams_Revived.html