FRANK HANNON (Tesla) – Six String Soldiers [full retail]
Tesla’s axe slinger FRANK HANNON released his solo debut in 2004, and after several years preparing new material and assembling a new band, has created what is quickly being regarded as one of the most impressive unabashed tributes to the importance of the Guitar in Rock-n-Roll music.
“Six String Soldiers” is a full length disc of 12 solidly written songs backed by the musicianship of legendary guitarists Dickey Betts, 3-time Grammy Award winner Rick Derringer, Pat Travers and Y&T founder Dave Meniketti.
Joined by New Mexico’s guitarist Mike Araiza and fronted by the soulful voice of Jeff Sandoval, Frank has assembled an army of talent that is rarely seen on a single disc these days.
This album reminds us of a time in America when soon to be classic songs blasted from the radios of the newest muscle cars, guitar-driven songs topped the charts and freedom was in the air.
“I’m Alive” opens with a bang highlighted by the bluesy guitar of Pat Travers. Outstanding vocals and songwriting bring an uplifting message filled with superb riffage and melody.
If you’re a Tesla fan you will love “Set Me Free”, perhaps the best track in a disc plenty of highlights. It has that irresistible bluesy touch, a fantastic refrain and a crazy solo.
Title track “Six String Soldiers” is an instrumental, but not that kind of flashy modern shred, it rocks like hell over a blasting and retro sounding rhythm section.
“Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline” is an instant favorite. The first note starts with an infectious groove that carries to the end. Frank and Mike deliver some great head-banging riffs as Dave Meniketti brings a truly ‘face-melting’ guitar solo.
You may have not heard Jeff Sandoval before, but that is quickly going to change with “Cross Your Mind” and “Love, Life and Beauty”. Jeff’s vocals bring these songs a heartfelt honesty to them that is sadly missing in most of today’s rock music.
The life of a professional musician is beautifully conveyed in “Touch the Ground”. Guitar legend Dickey Betts’ decades of traveling from town-to-town, gig-to-gig comes thru brilliantly in his unmatched signature style making it an absolute must have.
The great Rick Derringer himself makes “To the Light” absolutely shine on this album. His guitar work reminds us why he is a true master and Classic Rock guitar icon.
After the awesome slow ballad Tesla-like “Redemption”, the CD ends with a short instrumental which shows Frank enjoying his guitars & amps.
Built on the bedrock of contagious riffs, tight grooves, and raunchy guitar leads, Frank Hannon’s new solo record upholds the all familiar Hard Rock truisms with commendable conviction.
Few virtuoso of Hannon’s caliber are interested these days in sustaining the canonical values of straightforward hard rock with such earnestness.
But you can tell he is genuinely enjoying himself, putting demonstrations of his chops on the backburner and getting a kick out of the grooves, the riffs, and the sprawling melodies of traditional Hard Rock spiced by bluesy overtones with class.
These songs Rocks, his band Rocks, and “Six String Soldiers” Rocks, in a really, really good way.
01 – I’m Alive (feat. Pat Travers)
02 – Set Me Free
03 – Six String Soldiers
04 – Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline (feat. Dave Meniketti)
05 – Invincible
06 – Cross Your Mind
07 – Touch the Ground (feat. Dickey Betts)
08 – I’m Just Sayin’
09 – Love, Life and Beauty
10 – To the Light (feat. Rick Derringer)
11 – Redemption
12 – 12.21
Frank Hannon – Guitars, Bass
Jeff Sandoval – Vocals
Mike Araiza – Guitar
Cortney DeAugustine – Drums
Dave Meniketti – Guitar
Dickey Betts – Guitar
Rick Derringer – Guitar
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