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April 17, 2024

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On Fire! (World Talent Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Hailing from Georgia, Forrest combines blues and rock to form their own twist on the genre. Led by primary songwriter Forrest McDonald on guitar, and his long time friend Raymond Victor on vocals, they decided to team up with some other talented blues musicians and ON FIRE, their debut album together, was the outcome.

The CD starts off with a hot blues number by the name of "If You Don't Really Love Me." Raymond Victor not only contributes his deep, blusy voice to the music but he also lends his smokin' fingers on the piano. Adding a steamy side to the music, the piano makes the song what it is. The harmonica also steams up the scene, adding a hot touch to the music. Forrest McDonald's guitar is not to be ignored either. He plays the thing with such passion and love for the music, it translates over to the music. Playing it as it were on fire, he soothes over the most weary of souls and turns them into fans. "Police Woman" combines a touch of blues with a 70's arena rock feel. There is a reason why arena rock is dead today. The vocals are done nice, and the keyboards mixed in are a nice touch, but the music sounds very dated. Overall, just a boring track that can't find its place in the 90's. "In America" is a slow number with some nice blues riffs. The guitar work is done nicely, helping mold the music in a slow atmosphere. The vocals do a nice job on the slower scale, and the backing vocals are tremendous. Adding a soothing feeling when they chime in, you just want to hum along with them. The drums beat slowly in the back, which gets your toes tapping with the music. "Queen of Sheeba" starts out as if it might be another over-done, arena rock, wanna be number, but quickly changes into some up tempo blues that will get you shakin' and movin' along with the music. The song is hot and potent, not only getting you to move and have fun, but you might also find yourself singing along. "I need You" once again provides us with a slow number you'll want to groove too. The guitar is the center focus, besides the vocals, and draws deserving attention to it with its hot riffs and instrumental jams. Not the biggest fans of instrumental guitar jams myself, they make it work, which is a very refreshing idea. "Rollin' Down the River" closes out the CD nicely. Some great piano work to close out the CD, and a hot harmonica help steam up the music plenty. Raymond Victor's vocals are still as smoky as ever, and put a perfect close on this CD.

I had my reservations about this CD at first, but upon listening to it a few times I begin to find myself deeper and deeper into the music. It quickly grows on you, and has a lot of hot music to it. It is so powerful, you'll find yourself allowing the music to take control of your body more than once. Sit back, relax, and just let the music do the talking. I'll give this CD a B.

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