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Ainslie’s Vibes - Standing Ten Feet Tall (and Raging Like A Bull)

AV Records

“Wanted-Singer and lyric writer for hot-shot-inventive English blues-rock guitarist and band.” Tim Ainsley leaps right into the fray with his energetic guitar skills, until a roadblock caused by his spoken word “vocals” throws a “spanner (a wrench to you non-anglophiles) into the works”. He comes close to sounding like Long John Baldry doing his spoken word bits. Hard to make heads or tails of the meaning of the lyrics. The music is just great, as the rhythm section is tighter than a bull’s backside.

In “Tell Me Straight”, as in everything here, the guitar riffs and solos are fantastic and imaginative, but no proper vocals to speak of. In the bluesy-jazzy “Tim’s Crones” he rips off a really hot solo. The band churns up a nifty shuffle in “If Only” that also features a nice organ solo by Roger Cotton, a former member of Peter Green’s Splinter Group, who also helped in recording, mixing and remastering the record. The acoustic guitar and drum driven “Blue Eyes” works on a melancholy level. The fearless leader conjures up some inventive playing on “Divine Intervention”, the kind that is fun to follow. His guitar can just cut and slash through atmosphere. The title song sounds like it is backed by Johnny Cash’s Tennessee Three providing a train groove as Ainslie does his rip-roaring thing.

If this record were stripped of vocals it would be a blues-rock tour-de-force. Sadly, as we all know “ifs” don’t work in real life. Oh heck I need to use one more “if” to get my point across hear…If the guitar playing sounds as powerful in live, it’s the kind of playing that would draw your attention from a distance and improve as you got nearer. His playing stands with the best of today’s blue-rock “top guns”. He can rip off fast, flashy notes that are well placed. The one glaring miscue here is the absence of quality vocals and lyrics. I really don’t know what else to say. If you can stand the “talk-singing” you’re in for tons of blazing guitar goodness.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

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