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Love The Ones You're With...
on 26 August 2013
A new Stephen Stills 'supergroup', modelled loosely on 1968's Bloomfield / Kooper / Stills Super Session, this one's a real generation-hopping affair with Stills and fellow veteran Barry (Electric Flag) Goldberg joined by fiery young bluesman and guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd on a spirited collection of both standards and new songs. Some interesting choices here, Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" and Iggy and The Stooges' "Search and Destroy" chief amongst them.
The four original and jointly-credited compositions more than hold their own in this company, including the rousing title track and the more reflective "Don't Want Lies", the latter a nostalgic nod back in style to Stills' Manassas days. And there's even a rumbustious and scarcely recognisable re-imagining of "Word Game" from his second solo album.
The passing years have weathered Stills' voice to the point where it now suits the largely rousing material perfectly. The guitar playing is a joy throughout as Stills and Shepherd trade licks with joyous abandon, with Goldberg's exhilarating keyboard work gluing the whole thing together beautifully.
Whilst there's nothing startlingly groundbreaking here, it's nonetheless a real masterclass in blues rock. Stills and Shepherd share lead vocals which gives the album an added freshness and vitality, and it's a hugely enjoyable listen from start to finish.
Whether this proves to have been an inspired one-off or whether there's more to come from this line-up remains to be seen, but for now this hits the spot very nicely indeed.