Top positive review
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It couldn't get better than this. And it didn't.
on 24 February 2003
A band that failed of its substantial early promise, the Steve Gibbons Band's later albums were a severe disappointment after the exemplary first three: "Any Road Up", "Rollin' On" and "Caught In The Act", the latter being one of the best live albums of all time.
"Any Road Up" was a competent debut and stood out from much of the product being released around the same time. "Rollin'" is the highlight, largely on account of two superb guitar solos from the tandem leads of Bob Wilson and Dave Carroll, but "Johnny Cool", "Strange World" and "Speed Kills" are very good songs that were even better performed by what was, principally, a superb live act.
"Rollin' On" is by far the Gibbons Band's best studio album. Spanning styles from country to R&B, it showcased Gibbons's vocal and lyrical range, as well as including rockers from the pens of Chuck Berry ("Tulane") and Jerry Reed ("Tupelo Mississippi Flash"). The opening "Wild Flowers" is a beautiful country-tinged song that sets the tone of the album well. "Now You Know Me", "Till The Well Runs Dry", "Cross Me Over The Road" and "Low Down Man" are out-and-out country pieces, featuring some great steel guitar playing by Dave Carroll. The up-beat side of the album is represented by "Tulane", "Rollin' On", "Please Don't Say Goodbye" and "Tupelo Mississippi Flash". A couple of a capella songs ("Right Side Of Heaven" and "Rounden") are too slight to really add anything to the album.
The Steve Gibbons Band followed these two albums with "Caught In The Act", which featured a show-stopping performance of "Rollin'" that belongs in any guitar-solo-lovers top ten. I can't understand why "Caught In The Act" isn't in the current catalogue, and I'm not about to sell my copy to anybody. In its absence, though, "Rollin' On" is the best available example of Steve Gibbons at his best.
A band couldn't start with three better albums and couldn't get any better. SGB was no exception: they got progressively worse from "Down In The Bunker" onwards.