Let me preface this review with a personal note; Jerry Miller is one of the finest guitarists on the planet. A rough-hewn gem from the Pacific Northwest, Jerry was the fire behind the incredible guitar-driven Moby Grape, and returns to the spotlight this year with not only a wonderful solo album but a re-formed Moby Grape, stronger than ever. The bluesy leanings of his guitar on Moby Grape’s long recording history are unleashed on this record full-force, with a little help from his friends, ex-Doobie bassist Tiran Porter and drummer Fuzzy Oxendine (ex-Boz Scaggs). The horns and keys sweeten the mix, but this album is all guitar, featuring Jerry in a masterful trip through the Chicago blues, the West Coast blues, the psychedelic blues…you name it, he covers it, with finesse and mastery rarely seen. Oh, and his vocals are never better – craggy, like Mount Rushmore, and right on the mark for a road-weary veteran. The tunes range from the funky intro “Snake Rhythm Rock” to slide-winder “If You Still Got Love,” but my personal favorites expose Jerry’s prodigious chops, his thick-as-a-big-steak voice, and those wonderful songwriting talents he first unleashed in Moby Grape – heart-wrenching tunes like “Now I See” reveal a world of pain with the possibility of redemption. This album has less finely-tuned production than Jerry’s brother-in-arms, Peter Lewis, whose solo album was reviewed in VG recently, but has great heart and spirit. Most highly recommended.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Oct. ’97 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.