Artist – Roadhouse


Label – Kross Border Rekords KBR20161 

Release date- May 9th 2016

Distribution- Proper Distribution

"The vision of a solid and uncompromising Blues/Rock Band remains uncompromised and is wonderfully intact" Blues Matters

"They play loud and they play well, the soloing is ferocious and the commitment is total" R2

Having built a solid reputation for producing quality Americana/blues/rock, the core of CITY OF DECAY is based around the decaying infrastructure of Detroit due to the evacuation of the car industry. Their previous album focused on New Orleans and the highways and reservations of the West. This is a more 'blue collar' piece of work, but like 'Gods & Highways & Old Guitars' still works as a largely cohesive concept. There is a focus on the industrial and social wastelands of the US, as well as taking a detour down Highway 61, South of Chicago. Once more Roadhouse features their famous vocal ensemble, but CITY OF DECAY displays even more reliance on the stunning vocals of Mandie.G and Sarah Harvey-Smart. The twin lead guitar attack of Danny Gwilym and Gary Boner is still present along with the rock solid rhythm section provided by Bill Hobley on Bass and Roger Hunt on drums. There are more distinct musical and vocal sections to these songs making them more complex and ambitious than past Roadhouse CD's. This CD features eight songs written by Gary Boner including several co-writes with Danny and Mandie.G, in fact nine tracks in total if you include the radio mix of Blues Highway. However, due to the epic nature of some of the songs it clocks in at well over an hour's music.

Regarding song choice, highlights include Blues Highway which was inspired loosely by the book by Richard Night. An original blues song it features a great duet from Mandie.G and Sarah and with full on solos from both Danny and Gary, occupies more than eleven minutes playing time. Title track City Of Decay is a look at the downfall of Detroit after the 'Big six' car manufacturers pulled out. This epic song has a number of different distinct sections and is probably the most ambitious Roadhouse song to date and The Night Of The Gun takes the listener back on to the mean streets of Detroit where a stranger ends up in the wrong part of town, the song a pure riff driven rocker.

Roadhouse have so far achieved airplay on over a hundred radio stations in more than twenty countries, a highlight being performing three tracks live on the Paul Jones BBC Radio 2 blues show. Live, they have shared the stage with a veritable who’s who of international artists including Walter Trout, Joe Bonamassa, The Animals, The Yardbirds, Dr Feelgood, Nine Below Zero, Wilco Johnson, Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), Pat Travers and many more. A true festival band, they have played at many festivals all over Europe including Glastonbury in 2010 and eight performances over the years at the National Festival of R&B in Colne. They play regularly at the UK Festival of Rock & Blues held every year in Skegness. Their last CD Gods & Highways & Old Guitars achieved critical acclaim and considerable airplay across both Europe and the US.

"Britain's finest Roots Rockers, a dark coming together of Country, Rock and Blues" Maverick

"Drilling deep into Americana with their driving sound and harmony stacked songs" Classic Rock

"A combination of classic Blues/Rock & Americana you would swear that they were American" Rock Society

"Deep, eerie and hypnotic" Guitar and Bass

"This is a multi layered album full of rich imagery, intricate rhythms, soaring harmonies, delicate guitar textures, and lush melodies that finds its equilibrium somewhere between Americana and kick ass rock blues. ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ is an album of real substance that deserves to be heard at the highest table" Get Ready To Rock

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Roadhouse are:

- Gary Boner, Vocals, Lead Guitar & Songs
- Danny Gwilym – Lead Guitar
- Bill Hobley – Bass
- Roger Hunt – Drums
- Mandie.G – Vocals
- Sarah Harvey Smart – Vocals

Roadhouse, Roadhouse, Roadhouse where do I start. Well they have been plying their trade now for nigh on twenty years now here in the UK. They are the the brainchild of singer/songwriter/guitarist Gary Boner. Their style is rooted very much that gritty blues rock style.

"City Of Decay" is the band's thirteenth release and it is definitely not unlucky thirteen. The album is very much rooted in Americana and a very dark Americana at that. Dark themes and lyrics weave with gritty sometimes jangling guitar riffs, all over laid with Gary's deep gravelly vocals. Making it a very interesting journey through the dark underbelly of the Land Of The Free.

The album opens with This House Is On Fire a upbeat number which somehow reminds of Canadian Rockers Northern Pikes. A track full of tight guitar riffs that swirl around the lyrics with ease. You are then plunged into darker territories with the next track City Of Decay. A dark menacing track that conjures up images of that once great temple to the motor car the broken city of Detroit. You can just visualize the broken buildings and rusting hulks slowly returning to nature and the inhabitants trying to make the most of their lives amongst the dark underbelly of the American Dream.

A change of mood for the next song King Of The starts out as a tight blues rock number held together with the clock beat of the drums. Then it spreads it wings with a Lynyrd Skynyrd style guitar solo. Up next is Blues Highway and gone are the gravelly vocals of Gary Boner in comes a voice that just drips in the blues Mandie G. The track has blues written right through the middle of it. Mandie's vocals conjures up images of long dessert highways that stretch for miles and smoke filled bars that are darkly lit and smell of whisky and smoke. The guitar riffs are like a open top Cadillac Eldorado screaming down the dusty highways.

We have Mandie G taking us forward with the next track Midnight Rain, a classic blues rock anthem that would not be out of place if Stevie Nicks was singing it. Up next is Night Of The Gun. A track that deals with hatred in all its forms. It is a hard edged track with guitar riffs that would not be out of place on a Gary Moore album. You also get the contrasting vocals of Gary with his gravelly voice and the smooth voice of Mandie G.

Mandie G carries on with the vocal duties for Queen Of The Mountain another track that is full of dark images and darker guitar riffs laid down with passion and power. Next is another version of Blues Highway Radio Edit This version is shorter and a little more up beat than the dark blues offering from earlier, it as the title suggests aimed at the American Rock Radio shows on the FM dial.

It is with a heavy heart that this journey through a brokern America comes to an end with Turn Your Face Into The Wind. Gary Boner returns to bid us farewell with anthemic road trip of a song. That screams of broken dreams, long desolate highways and the dark side of the American Dream.

So it is time to sum things up. If you like your rock and blues dark with a hard edge to it then this album is definitely for you. If you don't then give it a go like I and like me you might just fall in love with the album.

Andy Chamberlain


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