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Renegade Creation – Bullet: Review by Brent-Anthony Johnson

Renegade Creation - Bullet - Review by B.A. JohnsonSo,what happens when guitar greats Michael Landau and Robben Ford join forces with the brilliant rhythm section of Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip? Well, Renegade Creation, of course! This 10-tune release features incredible musical contributions from each legendary member, while sounding every bit like a band project. “BULLET” feels like the absolute best from the likes of Blind Faith, CSN&Y, Tommy Bolan, The Band, James Taylor and those 70’s luminaries that exist in the mental soundtrack of any devout music lover over the age of 35!

Renegade Creation’s “BULLET” is an essential addition for any lover of classic and blues rock forms who yearns for “turn on a dime” (see telepathic) guitar interplay, and everything solid and musically transforming about an impossibly good bass guitar/drum kit duo! Each song possess a hypnotic and sublime character that has the unmistakable sound of good friends playing good music together.

Each tune is a showcase for the band, both collectively and individually, and the dept, wealth and collective musical knowledge and ability inherent in this quartet speaks loudly in each stanza, solo, and hook. It is no wonder why contrived commerciality and gimmicry routinely fails to make music on this level. “BULLET” is all soul, all quality and zero fluff. From the first listen-through, I was reminded of how thankful I am for  good music like this. This is a must have release!

Guitarists Ford and Landau contribute evenly across the “BULLET” and the addition of Bob Dylan’s “Too Much Of Nothin'” speaks directly to the CD’s direction. The writing styles of both guitarists compliments the recording nicely – even to the extent that the listener might expect a bit of co-writing, or overlap. Or, maybe, this is the sound of musical “twinship” – because both players were obviously raised on the same musical  diet! Today’s favorite  tune is “”Older Today”. But, I was driving down the street cranking “High And Low” just a couple days ago.

Producer/Engineer Ed Cheney brings the familiar and delicious character he has contributed to releases by Ronnie Raitt, Bob Dylan and others to this feast-laden table. The production is great throughout. However, notable mention must be made concerning the way Ed records acoustic guitars! The last I heard such an incredibly well recorded acoustic guitar… was on an Ed Cheney produced release! Simply beautiful!

Another of the most interesting aspects of this release is the vocal contributions of Michael “Mike”Landau, who’s voice and delivery  bring to mind the great Neil  Young – if not also possessing a tone, clarity and range and depth all his own.

Jimmy’s contribution and delivery is even better than expected – if that’s possible! Once again, his statement on the subject of how to play within a band is beyond cool. There are too many  gems to discuss individually. Suffice to say,this is also a release for fans of Mr. Haslip’s playing. Since his departure from the instrumental institution Yellowjackets, already 2-plus years ago, his undeniable prowess has excelled to  rarest place only the greatest achieve.

Must Hear Tunes: “Nazareth”, “Too Much Of Nothin'”, “Older Today”.

Renegade Creation’s “BULLET” available at Amazon.com

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