Gregg Wright

Big Dawg Barkin’

Gregg Wright’s pandemic-fueled album displays the pent-up intensity of a virtuoso guitarist unleashed – the former Jacksons’ guitarist and bluesman comes fully loaded with pyrotechnics and sweet runs galore. Tempered by ’70s tours opening for Albert King and Freddie King, the guitarman brings arena-rock boogie to “Help is On the Way,” while “Pass the Plate” and “Thank You, Lord!” display gospel nuances. Wright straddles the world of the blues and high-velocity rockers like “Crank It Up!,” “Ya Can’t Go Back,” and his “Eruption”-style solo on “Moving Mountains.”

Feel and effortless slide intertwine with single-note pentatonic fire on the mid-tempo stomp of “Hey L’il Girl.” The quasi-religious country ballad “Have You Ever Seen The Wind?” displays Gregg’s flexible vocal range, tight southern harmonies, and restraint. Within the Chicago urban sounds of “Fast One,” he manhandles a minor shuffle and transforms it into a tour-de-force of funkiness and Hendrix-style octave work.

Stellar sidemen add harmony and groove, as Wright masterminds the production chores with unpretentious flavor and artistry. These 13 studio tracks and one live performance are a convergence of black american blues-rock; throughout, Gregg Wright is on fire.

This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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