· BRYCE JANEY - Game Of Life (GYR082) ·
::T R A C K S::
01. DOWN HOME BLUES
FORMAT: Audio CD / Digipack
Phenomenal 8th studio disc by this outstanding, bad-ass, blues/rock axeslinger from Iowa featuring 11 tracks of awesome, top-shelf, world-class, blues-based, retro-70s, heavy guitar power trio riffage, grooves and soul-powered vox that land down kool & solid to the musical core. Bryce Janey is an impressive, dynamic, gifted, "old-school" Stratmaster. A true, legit seasoned veteran of the instrument who plays with authentic passion, soul-power and endless amounts of style and class on the timeless, classic "Game Of Life" disc which is his finest hour & strongest musical document to date. An essential hi-end slice of serious blues/rock "six string mojo" that is Highly recommended to fans of Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Eric Clapton, SRV, Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher & Billy Gibbons ala vintage ZZ Top.
MP3 Sample Clips
01. DOWN HOME BLUES
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· reviews ·
Seasoning is a good thing, and I'm not talking about a gourmet dish. Well, maybe I am. Bryce Janey is about as seasoned as it gets -- and his gourmet blues-rock is one classy dish! This is a guitarist's guitarist, with chops from hell. His new CD, "Game of Life," is a clear homage to people like Johnny Winter and Billy Gibbons (with a direct nod to Billy on the cover track, "Waitin' for the Bus"). "Come and Go Blues," the other cover on this CD, outdoes the original -- no offense to the Allman Brothers. But Bryce does something unique with the material -- he adds a special spice that comes from years of practice and a natural inclination for the music, which obviously flows through his veins. Peppered with guitar licks that show taste and maturity, he leads his band through numerous rocking tunes with a deftness and expertise that's really one in a million. As far as guitar discs go, this is the piece de resistance!
Steve Rosen (Author) (November 2011)
The Game of Gratification
Stretched out on a poolside lounge chair, gazing at the beautiful Lake Chapala and the surrounding mountain ranges under a clear blue sky, soaking up some eighty-five degree sun rays, is only one part of how I started each day of vacation in this quaint little town of Ajijic, down in Jalisco, Mexico. The other involved initiating a soundtrack for the day on my beloved iPod. My very first listen of Bryce Janey's Game of Life CD happened to be the first music I listened to early in the morning on my first day of vacation. I enjoyed this album so much that listening to it first thing each morning became a part of my daily routine. No doubt Janey has definitely one-upped himself again, making Game of Life his best album to date.
"Down Home Blues," the first selection, whisks the listener into the album like a steam engine rolling full speed down the tracks. A blues history lesson all wrapped up in one song, this one is powerful and authentic. What a great way to set the tone of the rest of the album. Janey gets funky on the title track, "Game of Life," dishing out some psychedelic blues Hendrix-style as he sings about the sometimes abrupt harshness of reality and the comfort of tapping into one's dreams. Wrapping up the album, "Faithfully," a soulful and emotional song about commitment, heartbreak, and hope. I found this one to be one of the most interesting songs due to the layered guitar sounds which built up to a climax at the end.
Author - Philip Smith (Blues Revue Mag) (February 2012)
There's something about that old blanket you've had forever that you pull out when it gets cold.. the feel of the material, that smell, the way it lays just right on you and leaves you safe and warm in its embrace, leading you to sigh, smile and say something like "they just don't make them like this anymore." Well, like a musical version of that blanket, there's something very familiar, well worn and comforting that comes through when you listen to brother Bryce Janey on his latest release, Game Of Life, featuring 11 tracks of 100 proof bluesy bliss infused with his smoldering guitar and vocal stylings.
They really don't make them like this cat anymore.. an authentic and consummately accomplished Son of the Blues, playing his beat but sweet road-worn strat, soulfully telling his life stories through a smooth and sweet gravely rasp and conjuring stinging and soulful mojo out of his instrument like a voodoo priest casting spells at the crossroads in the middle of the night. The opener "Down Home Blues" sets the stage with a pulsing swamp foot groove, soaring slide work and single malt-smooth vocals, laying the blueprint for the rest of this rock-solid outing.
Bryce covers the ZZ Top classic Waitin' For The Bus and the Allman Brothers Come And Go Blues with aplomb, actually giving the distinct impression that these versions predate the originals. That may sound like blasphemy, but one listen proves the point.. Bryce truly makes them his own as he works out hard and digs in deep on each with sweat, attitude and confidence. Killer.
The set continues with the standout title track, Game Of Life, which anchors the entire disc beautifully in terms of feel, delivery and message, highlighted by a soaring "future retro" backwards guitar intro that adds spice and character and also features some very cool musical twists on this classic Janey-ized groove as the tune turns around and leads out. Flying High On Your Love seamlessly morphs a back beat shuffle verse with a Hendrixian-tinged chorus.. an unexpected stylistic innovation that is wickedly cool. The closer Faithfully caps the disc perfectly with Bryce lamenting "It's the game of life you play / I must carry on / I will sing my song / I must be strong / faithfully" interspersed with his heartfelt and emotional lead breaks throughout this wonderful piece. Ahhh.. perfect. When you need to pull out that old, familiar blanket of the sonic kind that'll always make you feel good, throw Game Of Life on, crank it up, lay back and enjoy that good and worn-in old feeling once again. I think you'll find that once this one's in rotation, it'll never come out.
Jimmy Ryan (Truth Squad) (April 2012)
Yet another gem from Grooveyard Records, Bryce Janey's 8th studio album, is power trio heaven. If you are in real need of a wake-up call then this Iowa band will be there for you! If you are old enough (like me!) to remember steam engines, from the opener 'Down Home Blues' takes you rolling down the track. A blues history lesson all rolled into one powerful and authentic track. The tone is then set for the rest of the album. Janey goes a little funky on the title track, with more than a nod to Hendrix psychdelia thrown into the mix. Out of the eleven tracks there are two well-chosen covers and they are exceptional. ZZ Top's 'Waiting For The Bus' will make the hairs on the nape of your neck stand up, whilst the slidework on The Allmans' 'Come And Go Blues' will grab you. The layered guitar work on closer 'Faithfully' is sublime, building to a real crescendo at the end. Special mention must go to the rhythm of Dan 'DJ' Johnson on bass and Eric Douglas on drums for contributing to a very gratifying album. In the words of the record label "Dig Deep And Smell The Riffage!"
Clive Rawlings (Blues Matters Magazine) (May 2012)
Bryce Janey has been playing professionally since 13 as a member of The Janeys which also featured his father on guitar and mother on drums. This is his 8th solo disc. Though his albums run the gamut from straight up acoustic blues to blues rock. Game of Life delivers 11 tracks that land squarely in the blues rock territory.
The album quickly sucks you in with the first track, “Down Home Blues,” which starts out with a little acoustic dobro riff that quickly adds a hard driving electric guitar and pays tribute to the foundation laid by the early blues musicians upon which today’s blues rock is built. This is followed up by the working man’s complaint about being “Kicked Like a Dog.” Bryce peppers the whole song with fills and has a great solo in the middle all while singing about working hard and never getting ahead. “In Your Kitchen” is filled with double entendres like the lyric about how his baby “always saves the best piece for me.”
While most of the album is originals penned by Janey, there are a couple of covers included. Through ZZ Top’s “Waiting for the Bus” and the Allman Brothers “Come and Go Blues,” Bryce pays homage to two of his obvious influences while still managing to make the tracks uniquely his own. While not a cover, “Flying High on Your Love” also shows a heavy dose of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top’s influence.
The title track ‘Game of Life” is a funky shuffle which incorporates an interesting guitar effect. Basically a portion of the song played backward to start the song off. The album closes out with “Faithfully.” This track is filled with an interesting layering of guitars. The outstanding solos scattered though the song ties it all together to make for a beautiful song; especially when you listen to the message of strength and commitment despite heartbreak in the lyrics.
Even though he’s a young man from whom we should see many more albums, Game of Life gives the impression of a man who has been around a lot longer. His world class guitar skills and the unique timber of his voice just serve to reinforce that impression.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
Down Home Blues
- Game of Life
- Waiting for the Bus
- Come and Go Blues
The Big Hit
- Down Home Blues
Kevin O'Rourke (Blues Rock Review) (October 2012)
blues rock review
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