The 1960’s spawned a generation of guitarists who paved their way to stardom through vast amount of session work. Arguably the most celebrated of these players are Ritchie Blackmore and Jimmy Page, but for these genuine megastars, there were a legion of other six string heroes who worked every bit as hard – or harder – but never reached “household name” status. Unless you’re the kind of fan who devours sleeve notes and credits with as much enthusiasm as the music itself, names like Clem Clempson, Geoff Whitehorn and Jim Sullivan, for example, might not be too familiar, and yet, if you love 60s, 70s and 80s rock, chances are you own a record or two featuring those guys.
Ray Fenwick is another musician who has maintained a presence for several decades, but has never seemed to get his full due. Beginning as a session man in the 60s, he’s played with some of the greats. ‘Playing Through The Changes’ – a three disc anthology from 2021 – shows off a chunk of his legacy more than admirably, pulling tracks from a very busy career. What it may lack in consistency it makes up for with variety, and unlike so many rock-based anthologies devoted to a singular talent, it doesn’t rely on too many really obvious recordings you’ll own elsewhere – purely because the nature of Fenwick’s work means there aren’t any obvious compilation filling hits and standards. There are a lot of oddities – which aren’t all good, naturally – but, in the main, it’s an enjoyable musical adventure.
British rock band Slam Cartel released their debut album ‘Handful of Dreams’ in 2011. Since then, the band have gone through a few changes and played a seemingly endless stream of gigs. REAL GONE caught up with guitarist Damo Fawsett to discuss his influences, as well as the band’s past, present and future. Bringing a few insights into the world of a hard-working band – as well as Zeppelin-y tangent – a lengthy chat ensued…
During Whitesnake’s 2013 co-headlining tour with Journey, the band were sloppy. Guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich bought a fair amount of weight to the live sound, but their constant gurning was a little embarrassing. Not as embarrassing as the vocal performance from David Coverdale, however, who – at least during their London show – failed to hit any big notes anywhere near in tune. During most of the ‘Forevermore’ songs he sounded like Cookie Monster, while on the squealier material (such as ‘Still of the Night’) hearing his cracked voice constantly struggling was just painful beyond belief. Thankfully, drummer Tommy Aldridge was an absolute powerhouse performer throughout; but despite previous claims made by Phil Collins that a bad band with a good drummer would still sound good, watching this once great band falter and fumble, you’d surely have to disagree.