Supersonic Blues Machine, featuring Fabrizio Grossi (bass / producer), Lance Lopez (guitar / vocals) and Kenny Aronoff (drums) has announced the global release of CALIFORNISOUL! On October 20 via Mascot Label Group / Provogue Records. The title, available on CD, double vinyl, download and streaming, presents the sound the band spent much of 2017 sharing with audiences from Texas to Holland and India to St. Petersburg, Russia, picking up right where the they left off on their well-received debut record, West of Flushing, South of Frisco. Grossi shares, “CALIFORNISOUL! That’s exactly what it is. It’s the missing soundtrack to a summertime drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1971!”
Recorded at Fab’s Lab in North Hollywood, California, the repertoire is all about great songs. “Cry” is a soul searching, simmering piece of poetry and Lance Lopez preaches it in the most righteous way. “I Am Done Missing You” is another number that reaches down deep with a message that will resonate with both spurned lovers and those who have left their bad habits and ways in the past. Californisoul is a study and celebration of the human condition, and “This Is Love” could be the lovechild of Bob Marley and War with some stinging guitar action spread on top. We’re living in times in which it’s hard to keep on keeping on, and it’s easy to fall prey to habits, vices, and distractions – “Elevate” takes a close look at the “high” life, and how one must raise above the temptations and tribulations if the music is to be made.
Fabrizio Grossi talks about a soundtrack for an imaginary road trip up the California coastline in the heady, halcyon days of the early 70s, and that really captures the vibe and mojo that is Californisoul. The songs Grossi has written for this album are as top notch as they are diverse. This machine covers a lot of ground. As the ever-tighter core of Lopez, Grossi, and Aronoff comes together with the elite of the modern-day blues rock community, this is much closer to Woodstock and Watkins Glen than it is to a cut and paste A-list vanity session. This is about friendship, the brotherhood of the blues, and bringing the blues up to this moment in time.
Lance Lopez is once again at the front and center. His guitar work is as hot and gritty as anything ever cooked up down in Texas, and his singing evokes memories of the great soul, blues, and rock vocalists. You’ll hear the influence and heritage of Bobby “Blue” Bland, the funk of Sly Stone, and the world-weary rumination of the late, great Gregg Allman, but Lopez never really sounds like anything but himself. Kenny Aronoff is truly one of the most in-demand drummers on the planet, and his work on the album is one of the ingredients that make the record so special. Aronoff has also brought along his substantial arranging and compositional skills to great effect. Whether performing with John Fogerty, BoDeans, Sir Paul McCartney, John Cougar Mellencamp, The Smashing Pumpkins or Supersonic Blues Machine, he is simply one of the best players on the planet.
Guests on the album include Billy Gibbons, who returns with pen and guitar (“Broken Heart”), Steve Lukather(Toto / Ringo’s All-Starr Band) throws down some stunning licks (“Hard Times”), Eric Gales is back in the fold (“Elevate”), Robben Ford brings his bag of soulfully sophisticated chops (“Somebody’s Fool”), Walter Troutbrings some silky slow blues (“What’s Wrong”), and the party is rounded out with Alessandro Alessandroni Jr.on keyboards, Serge Simic (co-writer and background vocals on “Love” and “Hard Times”), and Andrea and Francis Benitez Grossi (background vocals). You may come for the stars, but you’ll stay for the whole show.
Fabrizio Grossi adds, “Lots of people have been saying to me ‘why does Supersonic Blues Machine always bring guests around? You guys can stand your own ground’, and there are three answers to that – first, we’re all super friends and we’re having a blast; second, most of them don’t give lessons and for us it’s only way to learn their secret “ways”; and thirdly, because the inspiration and the challenge they bring to the table!” Supersonic Blues Machine is truly a family as well as a band, and these guests don’t mail it in, they stay for dinner. The community aspect is very real, and one of the band’s great treasures.
The complete track listing features: “I Am Done Missing You,” “Somebody’s Fool” (featuring Robben Ford). “Love,” “Broken Heart” (featuring Billy Gibbons), “Bad Boys,” “Elevate” (featuring Eric Gales), “The One,” “Hard Times” (featuring Steve Lukather), “Cry.” “The Stranger,” “What’s Wrong” (featuring Walter Trout), “Thank You,” “This Is Love.”