Blues For Lovers Review


Kerrang! Magazine, Date Unknown

Written By Paul Elliott

“Has Marino wigged out? The sleeve notes on “Blues For Lovers” suggest as much, as Marino dedicates one song, “Blissed Out In Havana,” “To my father, and Che Guevara.” But no, Hull’s foremost blues guitarist has not lost all touch with reality, although he may do within a few weeks when he goes into the ring for three rounds with a hardened pro boxer; he’s doing it for charity, but he doesn’t like to talk about it.

“Blues For Lovers,” is no straight, hard blues record. Besides mellow blues, it also draws on jazz, rock and soul. The album is dedicated to “The beautiful spirit of Marvin Gaye,” and like Gaye’s masterpiece “Let’s Get It On” (the sexiest album ever made). “Blues For Lovers” is, in Marino’s own words, “Dead fookin’ horny, like.”

These eight tracks feature some of Marino’s finest playing, “Blissed Out In Havana,” is an extended, busy instrumental piece reminiscent of Marino’s idol Carlos Santana, while the remainder of the record is slow and reflective. The guitar melodies are fluid, subtle and, like Billy Gibbons, Marino knows when not to play a note. He may come on like the Humberside Hustler, but Marino says with one or two notes more than many Metal guitar burners ever will. Indeed, Marino says so much with his guitar that his guest vocalists- featured on half the songs- are unnecessary additions, particularly on the opening track “Angel Of Mercy,” when Marino’s sweet refrain is relegated to the background.

“Blues For Lovers,” is nothing like Metal, or even hard rock, but it’s sexy in ways Slaughter couldn’t dream of. Like the man says, “Stick it on next time you’re having a night in with yer bird.”