· CRAIG ERICKSON PROJECT - Shine (GYR003) ·
::T R A C K S::
FORMAT: Audio CD / Jewel Case
CRAIG ERICKSON IS A TRUE BONA-FIDE GUITAR HERO OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND WITH FRIENDS LIKE GLENN HUGHES AND ROB LAMOTHE ON VOCALS, "SHINE" IS AN "OUT OF THIS WORLD" UP-LIFTING MUSICAL EXPERIENCE.
Shine, is the fifth solo album from blues/ rock "axeslinger supreme" CRAIG ERICKSON and finds the guitarist taking his guitar to new limits and exploring his musical roots even deeper than his previous efforts. Shine is the first release for Craig on GROOVEYARD RECORDS, a new label dedicated to “pure heavy guitar beauty for the new millennium” and is a departure from his four previous solo discs on the BBI / SHRAPNEL label. The CRAIG ERICKSON PROJECT features two amazing special guest vocalists in the form of GLENN HUGHES and ROB LAMOTHE, two of the greatest rock vocalists of our time. The "legendary" GLENN HUGHES graces the disc with his awesome vocal power and he sings his ass off on a soulful "righteous" version of WILD DOGS by TOMMY BOLIN complete with brother Johnny Bolin on drums. Glenn used to play with Tommy in Deep Purple and the track is dedicated to Tommy Bolin as a true "musical brotherhood" statement of the highest order. One listen and you'll agree that Wild Dogs was the perfect choice. Shine also features the amazing soulful vocals of ROB LAMOTHE (ex-Riverdogs) on 6 trax, including the title track and a chilling "stripped down" version of ANGEL by JIMI HENDRIX which is dedicated to THE MAN. Angel is one of the most perfect songs ever written and we "wind down" the disc with this beautiful track as a "final peace". Both our good musical brother's, Craig and Rob "shine" on Angel... ROB LAMOTHE is one of the greatest vocalists we have ever heard...he sings with untold passion and soul. On Shine, it's all about musical influence and inspiration and brother Craig pays homage to all of our favorite guitar heroes. The disc is definitely highly recommended for fans of vintage ROBIN TROWER, FRANK MARINO, ERIC GALES, ERIC JOHNSON, TOMMY BOLIN and the “one and only” JIMI HENDRIX ... (just to name a few).
..."Long live the musical spirit of Jimi Hendrix and Tommy Bolin"...
The disc runs 68 minutes and features 13 tracks of top-shelf soulful bluesy hard rock / heavy guitar with style and class, complete with songs and vocals to match. Shine is a dazzling, blues-based, heavy guitar roller coaster ride and a diverse collection of serious heavy guitar moves from this outstanding, gifted guitarist that "outshines" the norm. Whether it's a hard-assed get-down power trio lead ripper, a heavy minor blues riff groove, a slow blues burner or a melodic, bluesy ballad, Craig makes it all his own. You can't deny his vast creative talent and style.
Craig Erickson makes his mark on Shine and deserves international exposure on every level.
It's time to let the CRAIG ERICKSON PROJECT "ROCK YOUR BLUES" away!!!
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· reviews ·
Erickson shines... his lead and slide guitar work is extremely accomplished and volatile... gutsy vocals perfectly compliment his fluid and muscular guitar work.
- Mick Skidmore (Relix Magazine)
There is a new sheriff in town, folks... he has both the finesse to caress and the ability to cut down trees with his axe.
- Ellis Kell (Oil the Music Magazine)
Craig Erickson plays soulful, toneful, melodic leads.
- Jimmy Mayo (Guitar World Magazine)
If your bag is blues-rock with some riff-heavy guitar that is very reminiscent of Hendrix, Trower and Marino with some cool, soulful vocals, then you are now officially in heaven.
- Ian @ The Groove Machine (England - 2001) (Welcome to the Groove Machine!)
Must confess I'd not heard of Craig Erickson before, but news that ex-Riverdogs singer Rob Lamothe and the ubiquitous Glenn Hughes both guested on his fifth solo album whetted my appetite. I wasn't disappointed because 'Shine' is full of tough, gritty blues, and stacked with layer upon layer of juicy guitar. Erickson is fully aware of his musical heritage, yet despite his love of icons like Tommy Bolin and a prodigious use of his Wah-Wah pedal, he's rarely guilty of overplaying. Lamothe crops up early on the first of five tracks with 'Familiar', a carefully crafted, hook-conscious pop-rocker, and the Project never look back. The album's 13 songs include two cover versions – Hendrix's 'Angel' and a convincing romp through Bolin's 'Wild Dogs' (from 1975's 'Teaser') that features the drums of Johnnie Bolin and the late Deep Purple's soul brother Hughes on vocals. 'Shine' is perfect for those unfortunate Sunday afternoons when you've just got back from the pub, the missus is ignoring you and only Man U are on the box.
- Dave Ling (Classic Rock Magazine - England - 2001)
Icon Magazine - Critic's Pick - 2001
Cedar Rapids native Craig Erickson has been compared to guitar icons from Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck, and while this is pretty elite company, when you hear the first 15 seconds of his latest CD Shine (Grooveyard Records), you know what the fuss is all about. The disc opens with the blistering solo guitar work that has defined Craig both a local and international talent. He has completed five solo albums, toured France, England and the US and contributed his fiery licks to numerous projects--including a co-writing stint with Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple and Trapeze fame.
For blues/rock enthusiasts, Shine is bread-and-butter with lots of jam. Sixty-eight minutes of scorching guitar work strafe down on the disc's 13 tracks, Erickson's Stratocaster providing the heavy firepower. His repertoire mixes everything from standard blues chops to lightning-fast fretting, throwing in an occasional stomp on the wah-wah pedal to capture that elusive Hendrix trademark sound. Craig's guitar virtuosity is so evident that you get the feeling he could turn the juice up at any time and leave you standing in a cloud of sonic dust.
Rob Lamothe (ex-Riverdogs) provides strong vocals on six of the 13 tracks and Glenn Hughes contributes his soulful pipes to a rendition of "Wild Dogs," a Tommy Bolin cover (Bolin, a Sioux City native, was best known as the guitarist who replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple and is cited as a major influence by Erickson).
Craig also pays homage to Hendrix via a dreamy version of "Angel." The only weak link on this disc is the lyrics-but one can easily forgive when the riffage is so solid. The Craig Erickson Project's live shows don't disappoint either, where material from Shine highlights the track record of an exceptionally gifted guitarist whose work promises to light up stages for years to come.
- Joe Wilford (Icon Magazine - 2001)
Craig Erickson is one of the shining lights in blues and blues-based hard rock today.
- Marc @ Team Riverdogs (2001)
Shine surely packs a guitar wallup and delivers sonic bliss. If you're a fan of rippin' blues-rock guitar, then Shine MUST be a part of your collection.
- Henry Bocanegra (House of Shred - 2001)
The entire c.d. is solid from start to finish... Lamothe really stole the show vocally...
- Tom Branson (Blues Rockers - 2001)
The bottom line is that you get a healthy dose of stomping, steaming and grinding classic blues/rock guitar driven music with some of the best singers around on top of that.
- Lenart Hedenstom (Northern Lights - Sweden - 2001)
While the Craig Erickson Project doesn't necessarily fit squarely into the hard rock and heavy metal mold of Rough Edge, "Shine" is gutsy, bluesy, raw rock-blues fusion with enough six-string histrionics for guitar fanatics to get excited about. A touch of rock-blues fusion never hurt anybody; Erickson succeeds in raising this form to new levels of class.
"Shine" is Craig Erickson's fifth solo CD effort in addition to numerous appearances on tributes and instrumental compilations. Erickson's prowess on the guitar cannot be denied. Whether going for the gusto on "Break Free," crunching an AC/DC-like progression on "Familiar," or laying down a sweet melody on "Shine," Erickson plays with soulful emotion. The hard rockin' vamp of "Bus Stop" turns up the heat when it is needed most. The extended jam of "Doomsday Blues" is like a calm breeze over the morning dew. A cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Angel" is a testament to Hendrix's legacy and Erickson's channeling of Hendrix's quiet glory with a modern update.
Erickson handles the vocals with a steady voice on many tracks yet it's the appearances of guest vocalists Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) and Rob Lamonthe (Riverdogs) that give the CD an added, bright dimension. Hughes' soulful tenor on Tommy Bolin cover "Wild Dogs" gives this laid back rocker a professional touch while Lamothe sings on six tracks and has deep yet silky voice that reminds me of a cross of Chris Cornell and Doug Pinnick.
Fans of King's X, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Johnson, and Robin Trower will enjoy Craig Erickson's "Shine." "Shine" was produced by Craig Erickson and Joe Romagnola.
Craig Erickson Project is Craig Erickson on guitar, bass, keyboards, and vocals; and Kerri Collings on drums. Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) sings lead vocals and Johhnie Bolin plays drums on "Wild Dogs." Rob Lamothe (Riverdogs) sings lead vocals on "Familiar," "Desperate," "Remember
Now," "Shine," "Brokedown Love," and "Angel." Cody Collings plays drums on "Familiar" and backing vocals on "Break Free" and "Bus Stop." David Morgan plays drums and Al Robinson plays bass on "Businessman." Lisa Winn sings backing vocals on the title track.
- Christopher J. Kelter (Rough Edge - 2001)
Rob Lamothe (Riverdogs singer): vocals on six tracks. Glenn Hughes (ex-Deep Purple singer): vocals on one track. All the signs are that this will be a great album. And indeed, this is a great album! It starts with "Businessman", a blues rock track Jeff Healey would be proud of. The next track, "Familiar", is the absolute highlight of the album. A great, very relaxed track with a fantastic refrain, vocals by Rob Lamothe. Would be a highlight on every Riverdogs album. Also the other tracks with Rob on vocals are top notch. But the performance of Craig Erickson (who already released several albums before) should not be underestimated: he's playing a great bluesy lead guitar, singing and also performing the bass and keyboards on some tracks. The atmosphere sometimes reminds me of the great band The Joneses (anyone remember them?). "Wild Dogs", the track with Glenn Hughes on lead vocals, is a Tommy Bolin (R.I.P., ex-Deep Purple) cover version. A great track! "Angel" (a Jimi Hendrix cover version, Rob Lamothe on vocals) reminds me of Rob's solo albums (due to the laid back instrumentation). This is one of the best blues rock records I've heard in a long time. All fans of the Riverdogs and Glenn Hughes should get it anyway.
- Rage (Rock Reunion - Germany - 2001)
That's what I call a highly appropriate title! I do have Craig's previous albums and I do think they are great, but I'd still say this is where the guy really shines. Sure he's still got the blues, but this time he's given it a twist and mixed it about a bit. Don't misunderstand me, Craig sure can sing, but the addition of one of my fave-singers Rob Lamothe kinda gives the cake a nice icing. That boy's sure got his vocal chords in order. The combination of Craig's killer blues-guitar vibe and Rob's cool blues-voice turns a pretty ordinary melodic blues-oriented rocker like "Familiar" into pure art. Well, ordinary ain't an appropriate word in this context, as this is definitely Craig's biggest divertion from the traditional bag of blues. "Desperate" is an ultra-cool tune with an outstanding solo-effort from Erickson, so full of feel you can taste it. In "Break Free" and "Remember Now" he carefully treads into Hendrix riff-oriented land, but with Lamothe taking it a step further on the latter. "Wild Dogs" is another cool toon, here with the addition of man with the golden vocal chords himeself, mr Glenn Hughes. My absolute favourite on the album is the outstanding King's X-goes-heavy-blues-on-a-Sunday-afternoon "Bus Stop". Here Craig takes care of the vocals himself and he surely does it great. The title-track is another Hendrixy tune, again with Lamothe adding his personal touch to the vocal territory. I really love this type of heavy, yet cool riffage with the classic Strat-type neck pick-up sound. Another favourite of mine is "Doomsday Blues", which just by looking at the title could've been a typical "Woke up this morning and my dog was dead" type of three-chord blues. Well, blues it is, but it's another example of Craig's heavy coolness and riffing skills. Another track well worth mentioning is of course the cover of Hendrix "Angel", where, again, Rob Lamothe's vocals in combination with Craig's string-treatment gives it new life. The album ends in style with Craig showing his full range of feelings in the instrumental "Beautiful Venus". His tone is so full of feeling it hurts. Too bad it's so damn short. Those 1:30 minutes could've been 1:30 hours in my simple opinion. This is not a recommendation; it's an order – BUY IT NOW!
- Janne Stark (Midwestern Skies - 2001)
Bluesrock guitarist/singer Craig Erickson is in business for quite a while and this is his 5th cd. This one's on a new label, whilst his previous ones were on Mike Varney's BBI. Craig is helped by 2 top vocalists. Rob Lamothe(ex-Riverdogs) clarifies he can still do the job. Glenn Hughes sings 1 track. Not peculiar if you consider they're friends for many years and play on each others' albums regularly. Hughes sings the Tommy Bolin tacks "Wild Dogs" with Johnny Bolin on drums. The other tracks are sung by Craig. "Shine" is a fine sounding bluesrock disc. Craig feels ok, plays passionate & is definitely inspired by Rob Lamothe's performance! The Hendrix song, "Angel", is great with lot of feeling in both guitar & vox. Shine lasts 68 minutes & doesn't bore for a single minute. This wasn't the case with his previous albums. Seldom have I heard the man this good, inspired, driven & yet so relaxed.
- Michel Van De Moosdijk (Aardschok Magazine - Holland - 2001)
Craig takes cues from his own guitar heroes, and creates something unique and personal with it.. I think Craig is part of this great tradition, bringing the sounds full circle: back to the roots and beyond. What exactly is it about Craig's guitar style that impresses me so much? The total package, absolutely. He's got a great tone, and 100% intuitive technical skills. He uses wah-wah without it ever becoming trite or overdone. His sound changes color as the songs progress and develop. In addition to all these attributes, Craig Erickson just plain has SOUL. He breathes life into his songs via his fretboard.
- Sal Serio (Private Times #12 - Tommy Bolin Foundation - 2001)
Check out Sal's complete review and interview with Craig Erickson.
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