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As you know, I do get fairly cranky with PR companies and their quite often way over the top statements about bands they are promoting. Now, as is usual, we moan about things but don’t give praise when it’s due so I’m going to redress the balance a bit and say a huge thanks to Frontier Promotions for not only being perfectly honest and informative in their press releases but also for delivering a veritable feast of artists and bands to listen to because I’ve not had a bad one yet. Marcus Bonfanti is the latest from them in my review pile and his third album, ‘Shake The Walls’, is an absolute gem from start to finish. This is blues rock of the highest calibre, sung, played with soul, passion, and emotion but being a damn good hard rocking album as well. It really is pleasing to see so many excellent blues artists breaking through at the moment and what is more impressive is that many of them (Marcus included) are Brits! ‘Shake The Walls’ opens with the fantastic ‘Alley Cat’ and as soon as Bonfanti starts playing and singing you know, within seconds, that this guy is the real deal. It continues with next song ‘Cheap Whisky’; the riffs, voice, soloing and groove are sublime. Imagine the Rolling Stones fighting with Led Zeppelin in a backwater, swampy blues bar named ‘Seventh Heaven’ and if you dig the blues and good rock, believe me, I’ll be meeting you there for a drink! Every song oozes class - ‘Honest Boy’ with its fabulous slide guitar, ‘Jezebel’ with Bonfanti playing a mean harmonica and ‘Stone Me Sober’, my favourite on the album and which has so many grooves, even I look half decent moving to it!

Of course, there isn’t just one person on this album and Bonfanti has a fabulous band backing him: bassist Scott Wiber and drummer Alex Reeves are out of the top drawer and perfect foils for the guitar. All three are as tight as alligator’s teeth around your leg. Paddy Milner also joins in on the Hammond for three tracks and the fact that ‘Shake The Walls’ was recorded live on analogue with no tricks says all you need to know about how good these guys are. Produced, mixed and mastered to perfection, this album sounds fantastic and is quite rightly getting some serious airplay on BBC Radio 2, proving that the more mainstream media do sometimes get it right. So...remember the name because Marcus Bonfanti is going places and me, well I’m back off to ‘Seventh Heaven’ with my bourbon on the rocks!
Review by Rick Tilley
17th June 2013
1) Alley Cat
2) Cheap Whisky
3) We All Do Bad Sometimes
4) Honest Boy
5) Jezebel
6) Stone Me Sober
7) My Baby Don't Dance
8) Blind Alley
9) Honey
10) Bang of a Gun
11) The Bittersweet
"...blues rock of the highest calibre..."