THE MICHAEL DES BARRES BAND – Carnaby Street (2012)
MICHAEL DES BARRES has been entrenched in the rock ‘n’ roll scene for four decades now. A European nobleman, brought up in England, living in Los Angeles, he was frontman for such seminal seventies bands as Silverhead and Detective (featuring Tony Kaye of Yes).
Afterover 40 years of recording and performing, Michael has returned to his Classic Rock roots with “Carnaby Street”, his first new album in many years.
Other highlights in Des Barres career includes the rocking project Chequered Past, fronting The Power Station in the mid eighties and issuing in ’86 a great solo album after that, called ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’.
Des Barres hardly stayed idle since then. He enjoyed an acting career (remember his villain in ‘MacGyver’?) with as many, if not more, high points on his resumé than his musical one, as well as staying active on the live scene with various bands.
Joining Des Barres here on “Carnaby Street” are Paul ILL (bass, backing vocals), Eric Schermerhorn (guitars), Jebin Bruni (keyboards) and David Goodstein (drums, backing vocals).
Together they form a tight unit, delivering rock solid, catchy songs that recall vintage Humble Pie, The Faces, Free and in places The Rolling Stones, with Des Barres in fine form (his voice has held up well over the years), sounding like a cross between Rod Stewart and Steve Marriott here.
“Carnaby Street” is plenty of Classic British bluesy rockers complete with tasty guitar licks, swirling organ, catchy rhythms, and powerful vocals.
Some of the highlights include the funky “Sugar”, the hard rocking “You’re My Pain Killer” and “Carnaby Street”, the R&B meets blues-rock of “Route 69”, the sultry blues of “Please Stay” (featuring some great guitar and organ), and the supercharged hard rock of “Little Latin Lover”.
However, one of the best songs here is the rousing “Hot and Sticky”, a tune that will take you back to the early ’70s when Stewart and The Faces, and Marriott and Humble Pie were blazing around the world wowing audiences with their brand of soulful, bluesy hard rock.
It’s really amazing to see just how much swagger Des Barres still has, and he really brings it throughout this red hot album.
I always thought that Detective were one of the most underrated bands of the ’70s, and still to this day I have a hard time trying to figure out how that band didn’t become huge, considering they were on the same label and Led Zeppelin and Bad Company, and musicially were not far removed from those two behemoths.
Michael Des Barres was a big part of what made that band so great, and he shows he still has the vocal chops here on “Carnaby Street”, and a great new group to boot. He’s not reinventing the wheel, but he’s put together a great homage to some vintage sounds that should please any British Classic Rock fan out there.
Classic Rock in the way it used to be.
01 – You’re My Pain Killer
02 – Carnaby Street
03 – Forgive Me
04 – Sugar
05 – Route 69
06 – Please Stay
07 – Little Latin Lover
08 – Hot and Sticky
09 – From Cloud 9 to Heartache
10 – My Baby Saved My Ass
Michael Des Barres (vocals)
Eric Schermerhorn (guitars)
Paul ILL (bass, backing vocals)
Jebin Bruni (keyboards)
David Goodstein (drums, backing vocals)
BUY IT !