Mitch Perry Group – Music Box
(S/R – 2020)
Now Mitch is a cool cat who I had the joy of interviewing a few years ago and seeing several times at Ultimate Jam at the Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood and at Namm too in Anaheim. He personally told me he would love to make a solo album when he got chance and that it would be more in a 70's kinda vein – then in 2020 he did just that.
It's so warm and anthemic with plenty of passionate backing vocals, heavy heapings of organ, strings when needed and more. It has an underlying of pure undiluted unadulterated Classic Rock mixed with totally lovable Gospel sounds and gargantuan Soul too.
The main group is a four piece consisting of Tal Bergman (Drums/Percussion), Dan McNay (Bass), Ed Roth (Keys) plus of course Mitch Perry (Guitar/Vocals/Keys) with three singers Keith England, Shelly Bonet & Kara Turner. Not forgetting extra keys from Steve Aguilar, JT Thomas and Dave Schulz with Doug Pettibone on Guitar/Pedal Steel/Slide Guitar. Every one of these folk are well and truly cream of the crop who have put their absolute all into this recording.
It immediately cranks up with 'Saint Valentine' that is a real gutsy 'n' pumpin' rocker with a Quireboys/Stonesy like vein to it and really sets the bar of what is to come standard-wise. Other highlights include the ballad 'Believe' that is on the same level as 70's Elton John with fantastic orchestration, strings and a gorgeous melody.
There is by far the best ever version I have ever heard of 'Jumping Jack Flash' that's slowed right down giving it more guts 'n' ballast than the original and then goes up to full tempo later showing a major. It has vocals to die for and you would swear they were black angels from the church.
Or what about the funkified 'Pack It Up And Go' that leads into the slower almost sad track called 'Remember Me' that's followed up by the unbelievably powerful award winning female vocal performance from Shelly on the bitter-wailing cut called 'The Pain' while Kara closes the proceedings on the beautiful but heart-rendering ballad 'I Still Miss You'.
An album that completely blew me away that I cannot recommend enough. Here's to a Tour and album number 2!
By Glenn Milligan