First Appeared in The Music Box, November 1998, Volume 5, #11
Written by John Metzger
Bill Kreutzmann's first post-Dead project — the appropriately titled Backbone — features guitarist Rick Barnett and bassist Edd Cook. The band's music is deeply rooted in the blues and draws from many of the same stylistic places as do bands like Gov't Mule and Black Crowes. For the most part, it's a decent and enjoyable set, though only a few songs truly stand out. Both Nothing's Different and Fly Away take a page from Hendrix's book, and Backbone really makes them work. Powered by Kreutzmann's solid backbeat, the group pushes Only Son through the maelstrom created by Barnett's feedback-laden guitar and Cook's running bass line. Ocean Laughter concludes the disc and may be the best track on it. The tune's laid-back, funky groove wouldn't sound out of place within an outing by Santana, and it provides a clue as to the power Backbone is capable of yielding.
Backbone is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1998 The Music Box