"On the Blue Side" (Orchard; 1999)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Unless a guitar player starts a band with their own name they sometimes become obscure. Occasionally, they may featured on the cover of a gitfiddle magazine, but that’s only once or twice depending on how many CDs their band releases, and how good they are. Plus, it’s always hard to reinvent yourself. So, when Dave Meniketti, who was the voice and guitar for Y&T (Yesterday & Today), released a solo album (not to mention a blues guitar-oriented one) a lot of people may have missed it.

I got this CD from a friend and when I started to put it on my hard drive I clicked play so I could hear a little bit. My media player said "Ripping" and, for once, it was literal. Dave starts this CD with a James Brown tune, “Man's World” and then he just blows away any notion that he couldn't reinvent himself as a blues man.  

If you remember Dave's voice from Y&T then you know his pipes are made for screaming. Add his blistering blues solos to the mix and, my friends, you have an undiscovered gem (or, at least, until now). Like most guitar players, a solo outing gives them carte blanche to do whatever they want; Meniketti apparently went tabula rasa and headed back to his roots and his love of the blues. 

There are a handful of great blues players and I think its because there’s less glamour associated with that style of music. Yet every blues guitar player I’ve ever seen live packed the house, or basement bar, and caused a stir in all of us listening. Dave Meniketti will no doubt have you thinking about playing the blues just because the music’s got so much soul attached to it. 

For more information, check out http://www.meniketti.com/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:47 -0400.