Shaw Blades / Jack Blades
Shaw Blades - Hallucination (Warner Bros.) 1995
1. "My Hallucination"
One half of the Damn Yankees unite to record this one-off CD Shaw Blades. Damn Yankees drummer Micheal Cartellone also makes a guest appearance on a couple of tracks as well. Ted Nugent was a key ingredient in the success of the Damn Yankees. With him missing, there is a certain part of the charisma that is also missing. That's not to say this CD sucks however. This is a melodic, acoustic rock album that is big on hooks and melodies as well as a crisp, clean recording. Although it may sound trite, Hallucination really does recall Styx/Night Ranger's radio-friendly melodies and ballardy. Without a doubt the songwriting of the Damn Yankees is also present, although this CD is quite a bit more mellow and a whole lot bluesier. "Down that Highway" for example is pure Southern blues. Although I was a bit disappointed that this disc was not another Damn Yankees disc, I still enjoyed the acoustic nature of this disc.
1. Shine On
Jack Blades is most known for his work with Night Ranger and Damn Yankees. This 2004 release was his first "solo" record. The album features appearances by Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Neal Schon (Journey), Tommy Shaw (Styx, Damn Yankees), Michael Cartellone (Damn Yankees), Warren Demartini (Ratt), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), among others. With such a wealth of hard rock talent, and so many members of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees, one might expect an album that sounds like those two bands. However, that is not really the case. While there are touches of both bands throughout, I would describe the music on this album as closer to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. There are a few songs that rock. Opening track "Sea of Emotions" is a melodic song that sounds like it could have been written for the Damn Yankees, while "Shine On" is an nicely done rocker with Tommy Shaw sharing duties. Overall, however, the album is a bit melancholy and unmemorable.