Friday, May 25, 2007

Then & Now

Derek St Holmes
Then & Now

by Michael B. Smith
Derek St. Holmes made quite a name for himself beginning in 1973 when he was hired by Ted Nugent as his guitarist and singer. St. Holmes was a staple of many Nugent tours and albums, most recently recording Spirit of the Wild with him in 1995. With the release of Then and Now, St. Holmes steps into a pair of comfortable shoes performing his own music, a bluesy, pop/rock that is a lot easier on the ears than some of the gonzo Ted recordings. The set opens with "Dr. Love," with an infectious rock & roll beat underscoring St. Holmes' powerhouse vocals, which hook you and reel you in before you even realize fishing season is open. "Just an Illusion" tells the age-old story of getting the wool pulled over your eyes in a relationship. He plays his guitar with heart and soul and lots of emotion, whereas many guitarists choose the path of speed and guitar tricks. "In too Deep" is another track that showcases Derek's superb guitar artistry, and "Sunsets" is a mesmerizing acoustic ballad, with a haunting melody and flawless vocals, one of the finest tracks on the album. Next up is "Standing in the Rain," which gets my vote for the absolute best song on the record with it's electric-blues feel that sends chills up and down your spine, more great guitar, both electric and acoustic, and the arrangements are right on target. Chase Chitty on bass and Steve Pace on drums help to make this a killer track. "Sometimes" rocks the house, followed by "My Turn to Cry," another acoustic ballad filled with excellent lyrics, "If loving you is crazy I don't want to be sane." I suppose we've all shared those sentiments at times. Fabulous acoustic rhythm guitar, underscored by Russ Still's B-3 organ. Next up is "The Wind," another great rocker, hot on the heels of the ballad "Surrounded" and the show-stopper, "Sheila," featuring a truckload of guitars, digital delay and drums, a powerful song about the heartbreak of a breakup, soulful blues. Then and Now is one of the freshest, most exciting CDs I've had the pleasure of spinning in some time now. You won't be able to get the songs out of your head.

1 Dr. Love
2 Just an Illusion
3 In Too Deep
4 Sunsets
5 Standing in the Rain
6 Sometimes
7 My Turn to Cry
8 The Wind
9 Surrounded
10 Sheila





Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Trustar said...


Glad you found us and felt compeled to comment. So many don't give a hoot.

Interesting that you made your comment on the Derek St Holmes album. Didn't get much love at this site. I was suprised. I'll still keep trying to post up different types of music.

"We will force them to non-conform!"

Thanks for dropping in.


Rockandre said...

This is a very good album, indeed! Thank you!