Ian McLagan

Rise and Shine

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While Rod Stewart has been a wimp for decades, and his latest attempts at being Frank Sinatra are pathetic, the rowdy spirit of the Faces lives on in the tough, bluesy, rock & roll swagger of Ian McLagan. Rise and Shine is his sixth album, and is easily his finest. First there's the band, composed of guitar slingers Gurf Morlix and Scrappy Jud Newcomb, bassist George Reiff, and drummer Don Harvey. Add Mac's rootsy keyboards, and selective backing vocals by Patty Griffin (paying Mac back, no doubt, for playing on her wondrous Impossible Dream album) and what you have is an unbeatable combination. There are 11 tracks here ranging from the strolling pub rock-drenched country soul of "Date With an Angel," the pumped up rock & roll of "You're My Girl," the bluesy piano roll and pop of "Been a Long Time," the shimmering late-night balladry of "Anytime," the Jerry Lee Lewis infused "Your Secret," the bottleneck slide guitar and piano torchiness of "Lying," to the stomping barroom rock of "Rubies in Her Hair," it's all raw, up front, in your face, rollicking greasy good-time music done by a master. Rise and Shine crackles with an energy that once was the lifeblood of all rock & roll. This is an album that belongs on the shelf next to the Faces' material to be sure, but also with Exile on Main St., Sticky Fingers, and Ronnie Lane's (rest in peace) Anymore for Anymore. Mac hasn't lost a degree of his edginess or ragged elegance: this set is smoking hot.

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