"Hair Pick" (Guitar Recordings; 1994)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Blues who? Fans of Poison may recognize this fuzzy-headed guitar player only because he replaced Richie Kotzen. Not a feat that some would want to take on. Blues plays with an aggressive style that Brett and the boys probably liked when they heard “Hair Pick” for the first time. The problem with Saraceno lending his talent to Poison is that they took forever to release his venture into pop mania. He left after that and started the band Transmission OK.

With a name like Blues, you'd expect that the man would play the style of music he was named after. Well, yes and no. He has a few styles that complete his repertoire of talents. Attending the listening school of Eddie Van Halen and others, Blues projects his own sound. This being his third disc, he really has a polished sound thanks to years of honing his skill. There are a few tracks that gallop along and some with soul just dripping off of them. He does have a blues style via his signature Dirty Boy amplification and sweet picking to complement his expressive tracks.

I don’t like comparing guitar players but read my review on Dave Sharman. He has a similar tone and mature playing style to make you start searching the used bin at a “buy and try” CD store. I stumbled onto Blues Saraceno because he mentioned Dweezil Zappa and vice versa. There is a six string of separation. Dweezil does co-lend his guitar skill here on “Chewing On Crayons.” This disc is primarily instrumental with the exception of “My Generation” which is a rendition of The Who’s classic.

In keeping with the roots that all instrumental guitarists have, Blues performs “Bouree” by J.S. Bach, and kicks the dust off the composer’s original score. Give Blues Saraceno a listen; he may be a fresh sound in the squared circle of guitar players to be.

Performing on "Hair Pick" are: Blues Saraceno – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, vocals; Crazy Josh Freese – drums; Dweezil Zappa – co lead guitar on “Chewing On Crayons,” (1:11 to 1:40 and 2:09 to 2:38).

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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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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.