Nothing worth having ever came easy to me. The sweetest victories came within an inch of defeat’ sings Lopez on swampy opener “Never Came Easy To Me”. And with that gravelly voice steeped in life’s experiences, you believe he’s lived it and played it as he delivers on this belting blues release.
In fact, the confidence that he exudes in his own talent manifests itself all over a booming, big, brave cover of John Lee Hooker’s “Mr Lucky”. Bringing his own backstory of life’s ups and downs, Lopez plays a snake-charming barrage of notes on this incendiary homage to one of the true blues greats.
Then chewing his way through the words on “Down To One Bar”, Lopez lets his guitar do the real talking with an explosive, grinding slab of blues attack.
Texan Lopez continues this ‘life on the up’ with pitfalls attitude on a clattering, tumbling down the stairs take on “High Life”. Firing from the hip with hot licks for bullets, he hits the musical bull’s eye in style on this superfine catchy tune. Clearly, a tailor-made, crossover hit ready to pump through the radio speakers of rock radio stations.
The back to reality with a bump narrative on the working man’s blues of “Cash My Check” betrays classy, scorching slide playing that could lift the roof off any speeding car hard nosing the highway to the nearest bar for a trunk load of “cold ones”.
Interestingly, the low down gritty guitar talkbox pulsating beat on “Angel Eyes Of Blue” reveals Lopez’s impassioned vocals, and this man can truly sing from his big heart. The ravaged wail of his vocals blends with his distorted guitar style achieving a standout, undeniable trademark style.
A cathartic Lone Star Lopez skilfully suffuses his supersonic abilities with the guitar on this mighty record, especially on heavyweight stand out track “The Real Deal”. An epithet that perfectly sums up Lopez himself, to tell the truth.
Words: Paul Davies