Raging Grace - Without Restraint/Live Grace

Published Sunday 3rd April 2011
Raging Grace - Without Restraint/Live Grace
Raging Grace - Without Restraint/Live Grace

STYLE: Blues
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 105988-7898
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Ian Hayter

Raging Grace have been around for over 15 years, performing their brand of bluesy gospel in the coffee houses and outdoor festivals of New England. The threesome - Dave Cheney on drums, Dean Shannon on bass and Stephen Bell (whose facial hair makes him look like a refugee from ZZ Top) on guitar and lead vocals - pump out some serious blues rock, with driving rhythms and plenty of fiery guitar licks. They draw their name from the raging of a powerful river rather than from the anger of an offended trucker, and their music puts flesh on that idea with thunderous riffs providing the background to lyrics which express the limitless love and challenging call of God. From the opening "Overkill" through to the closer of the studio album, "Robbery Blues" there's plenty here to delight the blues fan, to challenge the faithless and to uplift the faithful. The second disc is a live album which, unusually these days, showcases different material from their studio album (only "Sparks" appears on both discs) and manages to convey something of the energy of a live concert. Joined by Jon Gamble, who adds some swirling Hammond to the mix, the trio really get the feet tapping and the pulse racing, as well as raising the spirits. Well worth tracking down.

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