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Ian McLagan

Rise & Shine! (Gaff)

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 19, 2004

SXSW Records

Ian McLagan

Rise & Shine! (Gaff) Only an older demographic would recall a UK musical movement from the Seventies known as "pub rock." It was just bar bands playing rock & roll, country, and blues in a loose, unpretentious way. The music on Ian McLagan's fourth solo disc, Rise & Shine!, recalls that pub rock sound in many ways. For one, there's not an ounce of flash among the disc's 11 tracks. With his Bump Band – Gurf Morlix and Scrappy Jud Newcomb on guitars, bassist George Reiff, and drummer Don Harvey – Mac has supersolid backing. But they play as a group, serving the songs and never really stepping over the line. All you get is a blast of rock & roll ("Your Secret"), a saucy riff rocker ("You're My Girl"), and some horn-fueled blues ("Price of Love"). There's a couple of slightly mushy love songs, "Anytime" for example, that offset the upbeat nature of Rise & Shine!, but even those are performed with a spark of elegance that doesn't seem out of place. Even though there's nothing earth-shatteringly new here, Austin's favorite classic rock émigré has crafted a strong set of original tunes with heart, humor, and a feel-good spirit that's hard to resist. (Saturday, March 20, midnight @ Continental Club)

***

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