Ron Wood

Slide on Live: Plugged in and Standing

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Wood's mission was straightforward enough here: promote his album of the time, Slide on This, before raiding the Faces' treasure trove and solo standards like "I Can Feel the Fire" and "Am I Grooving You," the latter done with sassily funky aplomb. Don't expect any surprises; you know Wood's guitar will charge out front, with some type of Hammond organ or boogie-woogie piano banging away behind him. Anyone who got this album originally knew what they wanted and what they'd be getting. Four songs capably hoist the banner for Slide on This: "Testify," "Show Me," "Josephine," and the shimmering ballad "Breathe on Me," where vocalist Bernard Fowler truly excels. Wood's trawl through the Faces' back pages includes feisty versions of "Stay With Me" and "Silicon Grown." However, an extended run on "Flying" -- in which the early Faces talked of their homesickness while slogging away on tour -- is the standout, if only because you haven't heard it a million times. The title niftily plays off the acoustic-driven "unplugged" trend which was so fashionable in the early '90s. Of course, Wood plays intelligently and economically throughout, especially when he's dishing out the distinctive slide guitar for which he's so well known. Fowler also proves capable of putting his own stamp on the Faces' songs that Rod Stewart imprinted so memorably. Like many live albums, this is more of a bookend than an essential purchase, but you won't feel cheated by what's on display here.

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