Brian Howe – ‘Circus Bar’

Released through Frontiers Records on February 26, 2010

Brian Howe – Vocals
Brooks Paschal - Guitars, Bass
Dean Aicher, James Paul Wisner, Tyson Shipman, Pat Travers – Guitars
Miguel Gonzalez, Wayne Nelson – Bass
Matt Brown – Drums
Luke Davids - Piano, Strings


1.) “I’m Back” – The intro to this track consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements layered one a top the other.  There is a small drum fill connecting the intro with the musical verse.  For the musical verse Matt switched from using a snare crack to a rim shot woodblock effect.  The guys also drop down to using one guitar rhythm.  This section of the song was heavily influenced by Brain’s days with Bad Co.  There is a small vocal accent connecting the verse with the pre-chorus.  There is a rhythm change for the musical pre-chorus.  The pre-chorus consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements. The chorus was heavily influenced by Bad Co.  Starting underneath the ending of second chorus is the lead guitar solo.  There is an arrangement change after the second chorus that consisted of an acoustic guitar arrangement. This breakdown section leads into the lead guitar solo.
2.) “Life’s Mystery” –This track opens with a lead vocal line. In between the third and forth lyric of the opening lyric line a very simple electric guitar riff kicks-in. As the verse progresses more and more instruments are added to fill-in the arrangement. There is a huge Howe backing harmony for the chorus. For the second musical verse the band incorporated a small rhythm guitar riff. This riff is very reminiscent of several early eighties rock bands. Brain’s backing harmonies were heavily influenced by the stuff he wrote with Bad Co. The lead guitar solo runs underneath the third chorus.

3.) This intro section consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  Over the top of the intro over the last of the second measure and first part of the third measure Brian sings a small vocal accent.  For the musical verse the music arrangement changes.  Also for the musical verse the guitar rhythm drops down to just one guitar.  The drum line for this first verse consisted of only hi-hat and bass drum.  For the musical pre-chorus the guitar arrangement reverts back to using two different rhythm guitar rhythms.  Brian kept the arrangement of the chorus very simple with a laid back sound.  After the second chorus there is a breakdown section.  For the breakdown section the drum line switches to a tom-tom pattern.  Both of the rhythm guitar riffs of the breakdown section was done using the reverbbed effect.  The breakdown lead into what was a very short lead guitar solo. After the solo the song basically repeats itself. 
4.) There really is no intro section for this track, just a simple hi-hat fill and rhythm riff.  There is a drum fill connecting the pre-verse with the verse.  Brian wrote the chorus in a very simple fashion.  There was a very small keyboard solo connecting the second chorus with the lead guitar solo. 
5.) This track opens with a piano arrangement underneath Brian’s lead vocal lines.  For the musical verse the band incorporated an acoustic guitar arrangement.  For the musical chorus the band kicked-in an electric guitar arrangement.  Too fill-in the arrangement and give it a full sound Brian incorporated an orchestrated section. 
6.) This track was a very simple acoustic song that really highlights Brian’s vocals.
7.) This track opens with a very heavily influenced Mick Ralphs (original Bad Company guitarist) sound to it.  The band used the same rhythm guitar for the musical verse as the one for the intro section.  The drum & bass line kick-in for the musical pre-chorus.  There was a simple yet huge musical hook for the musical chorus.  There was a simple yet huge hook for the musical chorus.  After the second chorus there is a small breakdown section that consisted of a lead vocals & lead guitar solo.  Over the top of the outro section there was a small minor lead guitar solo.
8.) This track opens with one single rhythm guitar riff.  A second rhythm guitar kicks-in at the main intro arrangement.  This second rhythm guitar is different that the first one.  The band switched back to the opening riff for the musical verse.  For the musical choruses of this song the band added a second rhythm guitar.  There was a lead guitar solo after the second chorus.  The lead guitar solo lead into a breakdown section. 
9.) A re-mixed version of Bad Company’s – “How About That” released on 6/12/1990 and taken from the release ‘Here Comes Trouble’.
10.) The intro to this track opens with a very cool bass line and tom-tom pattern.  There is a very clean electric picking electric guitar arranged the opens the musical verse.  As the musical verse progresses underneath the arrangement you can hear a very subtle acoustic guitar riff.  There is a very simple backing harmony leading into the musical chorus.  The chorus had a huge Howe hook attached to it.  There is a very cool piano riff over the top of the second musical verse.  There is a breakdown section connecting the second and third chorus. 
11.) This track opens with a very simple intro section.  Brian used the same music arrangement of the pre-verse as the one for the intro section.  The rhythm arrangement changes at the musical verse.  The chorus had a classic Bad Company with Brian Howe feel to it.  This song all together had a lot of peaks and valleys which made it a great sounding song.
12.) A very simple classic Brain howe song!
13.) An acoustic version of Bad Company’s classic eighties hit “Holy Water” taken from the LP with the same name.
14.)  The track is the guys sitting around harmonizing with someone is keeping time with what sounds like a bottle. 

     In 1986 Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke decided to reteam for a new project. Their label, Atlantic Records, however, insisted they resume the Bad Company name. But Paul Rodgers was already engaged with a new supergroup called The Firm.  So the remaining two members hired ex-Ted Nugent vocalist Brian Howe as the new lead singer, Steve Price as the new bass player and Greg Dechert (ex-Uriah Heep) on keyboards.  Nothing against Paul Rogers I think he is an amazing vocalist.  Between the years of 1986-1993 Brian released five CD’s with the band. However, Mick & Simon’s biggest mistake was letting Brian Howe walk away!!!!!
     ‘Circus Bar’ is Brian’s third and possible best release he has recorded to date!  Track 9 & 13 are re-mixed versions of two songs he wrote while he was with Bad Co.  My opinion is if you like Bad Company the Brian Howe years.  Or even if you are just a general rock n roll fan then you will fall in love with ‘Circus Bar’!