"Back On The Tracks"-R.R.Magazine-SimoSuicide

Know what it's like to have an orgasm? That intoxicating feeling that floods through your whole body, makes your muscles contract, and then leaves you feeling satisfied and calm? If not, listen to Back on the Tracks by Jimi Barbiani and his band, and you'll understand what I'm talking about. After experiencing the eleven tracks on this record, you'll feel like you've had rampant sex with rock 'n' roll. It's practically impossible to summarise in a few lines what Jimi Barbiani stands for. He is a living legend.

After a long career with W.I.N.D., Jimi has played and jammed with most of the crème de la crème of blues and hard rock: Johnny Neel from the Allman Brothers, Eric Sardinas, Tishamingo and Andy J. Forest. He has supported B. B. King, Robert Plant, Ten Years After, Canned Heat and Johnny Winter, to name but a few. Plenty of artists would have been perfectly happy to rest on their laurels with a CV of this calibre, but Barbiani is no ordinary artist. This true musician has drawn on his extensive experience, surrounded himself with great musicians like J.C. Cinel (formerly of Wicked Minds), veteran drummer Elvis Fior and Daniele Vicario on bass, and the result is Back on the Tracks (distributed by Atomic Stuff). This is an album recorded live in the studio, following in the footsteps of many great artists. The improvisation that shines through their compositions and sound evokes a live gig, and this is exactly the attitude that that the band aimed to get across. The record features nine original songs and two absolute gems: covers of Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition', given extra edge by Mr. Steve's guest vocals, and 'Sure Got Cold after the Rain Fell' by ZZ Top. Cinel's captivating, expert voice adds new depth to both tracks. The incisive guitar work and great moments of virtuosity never risk becoming boring or extravagant; they always retain the simplicity and immediacy that define the tempestuous soul of blues and hard rock ('Weeping Sky' and 'You Don't Know'). Jimi's style can easily be traced back to great musical heroes and legends like Hendrix and the Allman Brothers Band, who are always teaching us something new, mixed with the fiery, mystical determination of Led Zeppelin (listen to 'The Day of the Witch' and you'll see what I mean, Ed.), the Rolling Stones and Bad Company. It is clear right from the off that these guys are serious. 'I Feel So Lonely', the record's opening track, has an old-school riff that grabs you from the first spin. The opening notes burst out of Barbiani's guitar, before you are treated to a series of top class solos. 'I Got the Devil' is a real treat, with the band members' voices setting the song's tempo, before the heavy guitars enter in true hard rock / blues style. 'Party Angel' is an intense and exciting ballad with sweet undertones, in which the full range of passion and melancholy emanates from Barbiani's six-string. Parallels can be drawn between the style, melodies and sound of this great performer and the solo records of Joe Perry, another legend who surely needs no introduction. The 11 minute 'Good Morning' wraps up this fantastic album; a long, instrumental journey for true blues lovers where, obviously, it is the music that does the talking. Back on the Tracks, enhanced, incidentally, by its magnificent velvet cover, is undoubtedly a top class record, where the music and carefully-crafted lyrics take centre stage. I think I can safely say, without fear of exaggeration, that the album incorporates the entire irresistible fifty-plus year history of blues and hard rock. Music can teach us a lot even today, and Back on the Tracks by Jimi Barbiani and his excellent band is a great tutor. This is an album certainly not to be missed!

Review by SimoSuicide