I read an interview with Myles Kennedy in the latest Classic Rock mag and he states ‘I’m not a household name’. Well fella, I can assure you that you are in the Chesworth household and have been since 2004 when we were listening to rock radio stations whilst on holiday in Florida. Thankfully these stations only play about 15 different songs a week, so it got us all firmly embedded into Alter Bridge in the Summer of ’04.
I was fortunate to interview Brian Marshall back in 2011 and he said Myles had a solo album ready to roll. It was a long time coming. His debut album in 2018 was a tribute to his late father (who passed when Myles was a young child) and was an emotional album and I suspect a very cathartic one for Myles to do. Roll on another 3 years and we have The Ides Of March, which would be even better had it been released in March! Its the kind of album I was expecting (and hoping for) from him.
‘Get Along’ is a guitar riffin’ foot stompin’ call to arms where he wails ‘I thought we left this shit behind, don’t tell me I don’t belong,….the answer never was black or white’ and typifies the feelings of many in the World today. It certainly rings true with my feelings over the past 14 months. A similar theme continues into ‘A Thousand Words’, where he sings, ‘because in times like these we must live and learn’, his mantra is simple and he comes across as a genuinely caring bloke. The chorus is instantly memorable and encompasses some blisteringly hot guitar work. The slide guitar of ‘In Stride’ shows that its not a straight up rock album, and paints a picture of a survivalist preparing for an impending zombie apocalypse (much nearer than we think considering the events of the past year!) And was inspired by the first lockdown in which people hoarded bog roll and other invaluable items and ingredients. The title track is the big number, and switches between gentle verses, and heavier chorus where Kennedy gives his larynx a decent work out. Its as much a vehicle for his guitar soloing as it is for his vocal dexterity. Were it not bordering on eight minutes, its a perfect title and song for the next Bond movie. If Sheena Easton can get the Bond gig, then Myles is a deserving candidate.
Both ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ and ‘Sifting Through The Fire’ border on fillers, only because Kennedy set himself a high bar. ‘Sifting…’reminded me a bit of the Allman Bros ‘Jessica’. But its on ‘Love Rain Down’ is a mainly acoustic ballad where ‘the voice’ is vulnerable and soul searching. Its a beautiful song. ‘Tell It Like It Is’ is the good feel song of the album, with a hand clap, and foot stomping anthem for the masses. I can’t wait, this will be huge played live. ‘Moonshot’ has one foot planted in the Blues camp, and ‘Wanderlust Begins’ errs on the side of country. Both are cool, with Wanderlust being a companion to Year Of Tiger is tone and style. ‘Worried Mind’ is the most straight up blues song on ‘TIOM’. If you think that its standard fare, that is quickly dispelled thanks to some shred-tactic guitar playing and tonsel tickling vocal histrionics. Thats how you finish the album off. Fantastic.
As I said at the top, TIOM is the album I wanted it to be, and more. ‘Year Of The Tiger’ had to grow on me because there was little variance in the style, but this one gave me more of an instant ‘fix’. Theres more than enough light and shade and variety to keep even the most pessimistic fan occupied. As an ardent fan, its a little belter.
A Thousand Words
The Ides Of March
Wake Me When Its Over
Love Rain Down
Tell It Like It Is
Sifting Through The Fire
Myles Kennedy – Vocals, Guitar
Tim Tournier – Bass
Zia Uddin – Drums
Out May 14th https://smarturl.it/MK-TheIdesOfMarch