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July 23, 2024

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Paul Shortino & the Rhythm Junkies
Stand or Fall (Musicworks)
Booked, Toured, ... Released! (USG)

By: Geoff Melton

Most fans of 80's metal will remember Paul Shortino as lead vocalist for Rough Cutt and as Kevin DuBrow's one album replacement in Quiet Riot. Although he's since led Badd Boys and is currently lead vocalist in the band that bears his name, his recent solo album Stand or Fall takes him in an all new direction, as he explores his blues roots. Stand or Fall is a superb collection that ranges from raw, stripped down acoustic-based cuts to straight-ahead blues and Memphis styled R&B, all of which sound like they were custom made for Paul's smoky vocals. Stand or Fall should please fans of Paul's previous work as well as blues fans unfamiliar with his past.

Another recent release featuring Paul is Booked, Toured, ... Released!, a live disc from his latest band Shortino, recorded in Europe in late 97. Strictly live with no overdubs Booked, Toured, ... Released! has a strong sound that is well produced, but still had that raw feel that a live recording should have. Alongside Shortino cuts you'll find three cuts from Paul's past in the form of Rough Cutt's "Take Her" and "Dressed To Kill" and Quiet Riot's "Stay With Me Tonight", all great hard rock tunes with a bluesy edge pushed forward by Paul's always superb vocals. As an added bonus you'll also find two studio cuts from Paul's previous band Badd Boys, which were previously only available in Japan. Currently, Booked, Toured, ... Released! is only available overseas, but according to Paul some things are in the works, so hopefully this and more will be available here soon.

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