By Benjamin Whitener
A guitar legend, a German vocalist and the BoneYard all come together in the latest studio release from the six-string virtuoso Joe Perry.
Joe Perry is a founding member and guitarist for the band Aerosmith. As lead guitar player and co-songwriter for almost four decades, Perry has garnered critical and financial success. He has won numerous awards including four Grammy’s, 12 MTV video music awards, eight American Music Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and an Academy Award. Perry has also been inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. This guitar virtuoso is pretty much rock’n roll royalty.
After all of his success and his long career one might think that Perry is ready to retire and call it good. Fortunately for our ears Perry is still rocking.
On Oct. 6 Perry released the fifth of his solo albums. “Have Guitar Will Travel,” as the album is titled, features 10 songs that display Perry’s signature rock and blues guitar style. Perry performs not only the smoking guitar lines on all 10 tracks but lays down the vocals on four of them. For five of the other six tracks Perry invited German singer Hagen who Perry’s wife found by accident on YouTube. The tenth track is an instrumental.
The first single and first track from “Have Guitar Will Travel” is titled “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go.” It is one of the songs featuring Hagen on lead vocals. With this track Perry continues a departure from his traditional rock and blues Aerosmith roots that he started with previous solo albums. The track is an upbeat pop rock tune reminiscent of an early Blink-182.
“Wooden Ships” is the albums only instrumental. It shows off Perry’s superb guitar skill. It is an intense ride where Perry just gets to show off. The track starts off sounding like something straight out of an 80s horror movie and then morphs into what would be a perfect replacement for the music in the famous training scene of “Rocky.” It switches back and forth between the two basic styles while Perry throws in some searing lead guitar lines.
The rest of the album includes the tracks “Slingshot,” “Do You Wonder,” “Somebody’s Gonna Get (Their Head Kicked In Tonite),” “Heaven and Hell,” “No Surprise,” “Oh Lord (21 grams),” “Scare the Cat” and “Freedom.” Perry covers many styles from classic rock to psychedelic to surf rock all the while making it seem completely effortless.
Perry brings to the table his mastery of the guitar and his flair for putting a song together. He wrote and produced every track on the album in his state-of-the-art studio, known as the BoneYard.
As the co-writer for Aerosmith, Perry was responsible for mega-hits such as “Walk this Way,” “Cryin'” and “Sweet Emotion.” The 10 tracks on “Have Guitar Will Travel” aren’t quite up to the standards that Perry has previously set with Aerosmith. The album, however, still makes for a good listen. There are no totally outstanding tracks but at the same time none of them are totally atrocious either.
Perry has plans to go on the road in support of the new album. Shows start in November in New Hampshire with other locations are to be announced.
“Have Guitar Will Travel” can be purchased online at Amazon.com for $10. For those who aren’t acclimated to e-commerce the album can be purchased at Walmart for $12.88.
Snippets of the songs from the album can be heard at joeperry.com or at Amazon.com.
Benjamin Whitener is a junior majoring in digital art. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.