by Pete Sargeant

Sometimes we guitar players wonder: will anyone ever do anything really fresh based on Jimi Hendrix’ stellar output? Well stop wondering and track this down, because wondrous and subtle axe man has done it on this new record. From origins in New Mexico transfixed by The British Invasion and particularly J Beck Esq, Brown has played countless sessions and even a stint in Little Feat. His ‘Cruel Inventions’ CD was a (mostly self-penned) tour de force, not only for the spirited and full-blooded guitar work evident but also the dry growly vocals. They turn women into molten honey, aided and abetted by a guitar approach, which values stealth and tone above million notes per second wankery. Now Phil CAN play very fast, but like a boxer placing his blows, he knows EXACTLY when to strike and when to hang back. Gritty chords float across the soundscape as Yellow jackets bassist Jim Haslip pumps subliminal unhurried runs into the mix and the brutal but expertly paced drumming of Gary Novak lifts the whole beguiling brew. It does not sound like the Experience at all, because Brown goes for radical rearrangements, making the selections Hendrix-composed but Brown-styled to suit his voice and his playing. Harmonics ping into your ears then twist away, biting blues runs evolve into Charlie Byrd mysticism, a hint of flamenco whistles by. Think that nobody can reinvent ‘Manic Depression’ or ‘I Don’t Live Today’? Think again. Sexy music for both sexes… on all planets