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Paul Rose, who is he? That was my first question when picking up this album to review. I’m sure he is well known in certain circles of music, but as most of my listening is confined to, the admittedly thousands of, hard rock and metal bands my familiarity with blues guitarists is more sketchy. Shame on me is the answer to myself after listening to ‘Double Life’. This is Paul’s twelfth album (yes that’s 12) and is the best blues rock album I have heard in years, although he does cross over into country, folk and jazz as well. We are constantly hearing about Joe Bonamassa in recent years. He’s all over every magazine like a rash, and even though he has done a lot of good for the blues genre, even I’m starting to get a little tired with the overexposure. Now, Paul Rose doesn’t sing, preferring to get in four guest vocalists on this album, but why is this man not getting more press? It’s absolutely criminal and I’m quite happy saying that this guy’s playing blows Bonamassa’s solo work out of the park. In 1991, even Rory Gallagher singled Paul out as a talent to watch. Yes, that’s 22 years ago and Seymour Duncan names him as is second favourite guitar player after Jeff Beck, so why oh why oh why has it taken me this long to hear him play? What’s even more annoying is that he was born in the UK!

‘Double Life’ was recorded at the Steakhouse in Hollywood, and has been used by Jeff Back, Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen. All the musicians met for the first time on day one of rehearsals. All tracks were recorded live with almost no overdubs and this was rehearsed, recorded and mixed in 15 days flat. Think about that for a second… absolutely astounding. The album was mastered by Jon Astley (The Who, Led Zeppelin, ABBA, George Harrison etc) and the sound is rich and full. Musicians appearing on this are rhythm guitarist Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Rait, B.B. King, Elton John), drummer Richie Morales (Al Di Meola, The Brecker Brothers), long time Paul Rose bassist Kenny Hutchison and keyboard player Tio Banks (Was Not Was, Duran Duran). Vocalists are Terry Evans (Ry Cooder), Sweet Pea Atkinson (Was Not Was, Lyle Lovett), Raffia Ford (Aretha Franklin, Melissa Etheridge) and Bernard Fowler (Rolling Stones). Yes, that is a long list but they all put in excellent performances. I’m not going to single out individual tracks, it is one hour plus of superb music and there isn’t a duffer on the album. I am, though, going to ask you to single out Paul Rose via Facebook, YouTube etc and please give ‘Double Life’ a listen. I am certainly going to check out his back catalogue as I have a lot of catching up to do. It really annoys me when music and artists this good seemingly get overlooked.
Mita Records
Review by Rick Tilley
29th April 2013
1) Cold Sweat
2) Honey Hush
3) Let's Straighten It Out
4) Drowning in the Sea of Love
5) Crazy 'Bout You Baby
6) Dark End of the Street
7) Ball and Chain
8) (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to be Right
9) Just a Little Bit
10) Uphill Climb
11) Stormy Monday
"...this guy’s playing blows Bonamassa’s solo work out of the park."