This Was Then... The Rex Carroll Band - That Was Then, This Is Now (Retroactive) 2010

1. Find A Way (4:35)
2. Circle Of Love (3:18)
3. Foolsgold (1:14)
4. Working Man's Blues (2:46)
5. Walk A Mile (2:40)
6. Rock My World (4:58)
7. Witch Dr. Bones (5:02)
8. Delta Memories (2:44)
9. My Train (6:13)
10. Throw Them Bones (5:19)

I didn't know exactly what to expect from The Rex Carroll Band. Rex is best known for his axe shredding work with Whitecross and King James. However, the album was being billed as heavy blues. As such, I suppose I was expecting something akin to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Rather, "That Was Then, This Is Now" explores blues based Southern rock. Some of the riffs presented here wouldn't be out of place on some of the more recent Molly Hatchet albums. Carroll admits to being a longtime fan of 70's bands likes of Scorpions, Van Halen, and Deep Purple, however, he is also a fan of bands like ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers. Those are the influences present on "That Was Then, This Is Now". Imagine walking into a dingy, smoke filled bar and there being a guy on stange shredding away on his faithful Strat. That's sort of how I picture the scene every time I spin this CD. As such the sound is bluesy, hard rockin' and just the slightest bit grungy, totataly laced with Southern rock 'n'  roll. Rex's vocals are a bit mundane, but fit well the music emulating heroes like Greg Allman and Bill Gibbons. Of course the thing that really stands out is Rex's guitar playing. He's already known as a shredder, but here he plays with feeling as well as technical accuracy. "That Was Then, This Is Now" may not please Rex's heavy metal fan following, but those that can appreciate solid Southern rock, blues based rock and classic rock should find plenty to enjoy here. I did.

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