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Don Felder - American Rock n Roll - CD -

Price per Unit (stuk): €18.95

You'd almost certainly be forgiven for thinking 71 year old ex-Eagles guitar player Don Felder would be taking it easy since his brutal firing from the band in 2001, but you'd be wrong. Most famous for his mesmerising lead guitar on soft-rock classic "Hotel California," Felder has continued to tour as a solo act in recent years, and in 2012 released his second album Road To Forever which had been well received with both fans and critics.

American Rock n' Roll is Felder's new album, and it's a real joy to hear his husky tones on new tunes once more. The album features more than a handful of guest stars, and the list reads like a 'who's-who' of rock. When Don Felder asks you to play on a new record, you say yes. Guests include Mick Fleetwood, Slash, Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith, Joe Satriani, Alex Lifeson, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Peter Frampton, and Bob Weir. The star power on display here is astonishing, and is a far cry to the solo approach of his last album, on which Felder played all the guitars himself.

"When Don Felder asks you to play on a new record, you say yes..."

The title track is an immense celebration of 50 years of the rock n' roll genre set against a fantastic rhythmic backdrop, and the lyrics throughout the entire song namedrop key players of each decade very cleverly... "Smoke and acid, in our head, everybody trippin' to the Grateful Dead, oh Janis, give us a piece of your heart." This is hardly a new idea, but it's rarely been executed this smoothly. Slash and Felder trade some fiery licks as Guns N' Roses get a mention later in the song to great effect. Mick Fleetwood begins on the drums before melding into Chad Smith for the latter half of the song; a move Felder made on purpose to showcase the transition from old timey rock n' roll to the hard rock edge of today. It's a very, very strong album opener, and will be a playlist favourite for a long time to come.

The album swings between foot stomping rocker to sweet, gentle acoustic tracks with ease, and "Falling In Love" is a perfect example of the latter, with it's subtle use of synthesizers bulking out the song and acoustic playing to set the mood before an intricate solo from Felder. Every note of this song drips with real heart and emotion, as Felder delivers one of the best songs the Eagles never wrote.

"Hearts On Fire" is a bluesy, low down and dirty rocker with the catchiest vocal melodies on the entire album. A slinky bass riff repeats until Felder's warm gritty voice joins the mix singing about a 'dirty girl who looked so fine' even though 'the big stars and Hollywood and fast cars have worn away her shine'. A tale as old as time as far as Tinseltown is concerned. The chorus has given me a bad case of earworm, and once again Felder's lead guitar shines through on an all-round brilliant and addictive song.

"Limelight" follows a similar structure, as it's main guitar riff borrows slightly from the love child of ZZ Top and John Lee Hooker. The shuffle feel to the song keeps it rolling along, and not before long Felder spoils us with a solo section between himself, Richie Sambora and Orianthi. Sambora's now-trademark talkbox sound makes an appearance too and elevates the song above standard blues fare.

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