Since the release of the Divine and Dirty things have only continued to get bigger and better for Kris Barras.

Over the last 18 months, Barras has produced a string of radio playlisted singles whilst simultaneously undertaking a none stop schedule including tours with both his band and high profile side project Supersonic Blues Machine. The future is certainly looking bright for the in-demand blues rocker.

As Barras gets ready to unveil the next chapter in his career he continues to walk that illuminated path so to speak with new album Light It Up. And the lead single Ignite has already become a firm favourite on Planet Rock Radio.

Opening number What You Get has all the hallmarks of previous hit singles such as Hail Mary or Lovers or Losers. With its foot-stomping rhythm, southern tinged guitar riffs and huge chorus it certainly hits the spot.

Having swapped Mixed Martial Arts for Marshall Amps British blues virtuoso Kris Barras is now more likely to endure a broken string than a broken bone. However, his former profession is still very much part of who he is and continues to influence and inspire his musical sound and direction. This theme certainly prevails during the slide fuelled number Broken Teeth.

What is immediately apparent at the top of the album is the incorporation of a harmonious troupe of backing vocalists, which in turn gives both the band and the songs a bigger sound. This dynamic works to great effect throughout the record.

Tracks such as Vegas Son have already become a live favourite during the last Kris Barras Band UK tour earlier this year. With its funky groove and infectious melody, the track in places is reminiscent of previous single Propane.

The twangy banjo riffs of 6 am adds a further southern rock flavour to the album before things slow down momentarily with the heartfelt and somewhat emotive blues ballad – Rain.

The second half of the album continues with the incredibly infectious Counterfeit People, the groove-heavy Bullet along with the good old fashioned rock and roll number Wound Up.

Barras certainly has a knack of writing blues-rock anthems and the joyous cowbell infused number What A Way To Go certainly fits that description to a tee. And a future single for sure.

The speed and technical execution of the fiery fretwork featured in Not Fading, really allows Barras to showcase a different style to his playing that we’ve previously not seen. This track is also arguably the fastest and heaviest track on the record.

The album comes to its conclusion with the astounding blues number Pride Is Forever. With its subtly building groove, soulful keys breakdown and slide fuelled guitar solo, it’s the perfect closing to the album. This track would also work perfectly as the main set closer.

With Light It Up Kris Barras proves that he is not only talented but also consistent. Whilst many artists that have witnessed such great success in a short period of time might find it hard to follow up, this seems to be no cause for concern for the British blues maestro.

A release date of Friday the 13th may be superstitious or regarded as spooky by some, but as we found out with the British blues guitarist’s debut album for Kris Barras it’s Lucky 13 all the way.

Kris Barras Band
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.