Texas guitar slinger Lance Lopez has assembled a who's who of blues and rock guitar players to flank him on West of Flushing, South of Frisco, the debut album by the aptly named Supersonic Blues Machine. Living legends Warren Haynes, Billy Gibbons, Robben Ford and Walter Trout join young guns Chris Duarte and Eric Gales to aid Lopez in crafting a briliantly pure and edgy blues album that is possibly the ultimate excercise in professionalism. Each of the rock and roll legends (and legends in training) stop by to lend a personal touch to their individual tracks that only they are capable of doing.
From the opening chords and lap steel strains of Miracle Man through the final notes of Watchagonnado, Supersonic Blues Machine's debut effort is rock solid - each track and each guest just different enough to keep things interesting, but equally cohesive. Lopez and his crew start the party with the romping Miralce Man, and the up tempo driver, I Ain't Falling Again, properly laying the groundwork before inviting in the parade of all-stars and turning things up a notch (or two).
Billy Gibbons is the first of the legends to step in, joining Lopez and Co. for Running Whiskey, a short ZZ Top-esque rocker that fits both Gibbons and the "house band" perfectly, complete with a signature solo from the veteran rocker to put the official stamp of The Reverend on it. Haynes is up next, lending his signature vocals and guitar work to Remedy, a tasteful, beautifully penned tune about the power of music. Not to be outdone, Lopez steps up and matches Haynes lick for lick to close the track out.
If it's at all possible to warm up an album with the likes of Billy Gibbons and Warren Haynes, Lopez and his band have done so, blowing the roof off the joint, thundering through Bone Bucket Blues, a growling freight train blues number featuring dueling slide guitar and harmonica from Jimmy Zavala and a punishing back line from drummer Kenny Aronoff and bassist Fabrizio Grossi.
A slew of guests round out the album, including Lopez's fellow next-generation blues torchbearers Eric Gales and Chris Duatre and another pair of bonafide blues legends in Walter Trout and Robben Ford. All four turn in standout performances, ranging from Gales and Lopez teaming up for blues riff clinic on Nightmares and Dreams to the sweet, soulful pairing with Robben Ford on Let's Call It a Night.
When it's all said and done, it's simple: If Lance Lopez's Live in NYC was his opening statement to the blues community, the Supersonic Blues Machine is proof that Lance means business.