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On disc: Brian Howe

Circus Bar - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Circus Bar

Circus Bar
(Frontiers - 2010)

Brian Howe made his first step into the lime light in in 1983 as Ted Nugent's singer at the album Penetrator and the following tour. But many more rock friends will know him from his time in Bad Company, a band he fronted for 10 years! After his time in Bad Company he released his first solo album Tangled In Blue in 1997- later released in Europe as Touch - and now he's back with Circus Bar. To find the right inspiration Howe and his producer and co-song writer Brooks Paschal traveled to Guatemala and wrote the songs within a short period of time at Lake Atitlan.
The opener is called I'm Back and show that Brian Howe still loves to sing rock songs with a catchy hook. With There's This Girl he offers a track which has the potential to hit rock radio. A real ear catcher! Could Have Been You sounds a bit 90's like, but has a modern touch and is another happy rocker. Time for a balladesque tune - Surrounded. Beautiful melody line. Touching. After some more balladesque stuff he rocks again with My Town where Pat Travers is featured on guitar! Another track to have a good time with. With How About That and Holy Water Brian Howe recorded two Bad Company tunes, but as I'm not that familiar with Bad Company, I can't compare the originals and Mr. Howe's new recordings.
The heavy rocker If You Want Trouble sticks out a bit, reminds me a bit of some early 90's stuff... Riff-based and with powerful vocals this one rocks! With strings and so a slight symphonic touch he presents Feelings, another touching ballad. Little George Street is a kind of outro... Bit unusual end of an album.
Brian Howe hasn't lost his sense for good melodies and guitar-based rock tunes. And I think it's better to take time and do a great album, then try to do an album every other year and just present something average. The songs are all on a high level, so you can pick any 2 songs to check out Circus Bar! Enjoy Brian Howe's new album, it's good company.

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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