Mick Abrahams

Gonzo Multimedia, 2015

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Most small to medium-size towns in the U.S. have an annual festival of some sort, a weeklong or weekend event celebrating melons or hot air balloons or something, with carnival rides and fried grease and local artists lining the streets under white tents. Many of these events will feature local bands, and many of those bands tend to feature middle-age white guys "rocking out" to covers of oldies that they grew up with and still own on vinyl.

These shows are always a blast, of course; few things are more fun than playing and singing the songs you absolutely love with your friends, especially to a like-minded audience who knows every word of your Beatles, Grand Funk or Elvis cover. But it is an experience strictly meant for such an occasion, not for CD release, because only in rare cases does the end product seem necessary.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Sadly, Revived! falls in the former category. You may vaguely know Mick Abrahams as the original guitarist for Jethro Tull, and a handful of British rock names from his generation appear on this disc as special guests (Bill Wyman, Martin Barre, Paul Jones, Bernie Marsden, etc.), but the disc never rises above the level of good-time garage jamming by old pals.

At least Abrahams has the good sense to realize this, which is why he peppers the liner notes with jokes and shout-outs and generally seems an amiable, cheerful, mildly bonkers 60-year-old who still loves the music of his youth. A handful of these songs are originals; most are covers of Chuck Berry, Lieber/Stoller, Canned Heat, some traditional numbers and a lovely acoustic guitar duet between Abrahams and his son.

The vast majority of this is firmly rooted in the white blues-rock that British bands like Jethro Tull, Humble Pie, the Yardbirds, etc. made popular in the late ‘60s. Students of that era and the source material may recognize some of these covers and titles, but almost nothing is done to distinguish them from the hundreds of similar-sounding songs over the years. That's not to say they are well done, from the harmonica solo on "Remember" to the early Tull-esque "Summer Day" to the guitar work on "Red River Rock." It's just that you have heard it before. Many times.

But again, that's not really the point. This is simply a bunch of guys of a certain age, all members or former members of bands that peaked decades ago, grinning and kicking back with a beer and a guitar and just having a good time. There is nothing pretentious, self-important, or serious about any of this, which makes it a cheerful, yet unnecessary, album.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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