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Richie Onori's Blues Messenger - 'In The Name Of Freedom'
****Look At Track Fragments Below****
1.) "Power To The People - (Marvin Sperling - bass/Phil Woodward - lead guitar/Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/David Jenkins - Hammond B3/Valerie Davis - backing vocals/Dave Jenkins - backing vocals/Robbyn Kirmesse - background vocals, Alicia Morgan - backing vocals) -This track opens with the sound effects of a protest. This leads to someone beginning to read the Constitution Of The United States. Very lightly over the top of this, you hear someone playing "God Bless The United States". As the underling spoken effects progress you can hear a set of kid saying 'The Pledge To Allegiance'. I loved how the kids ended it with God bless G.E. and God bless Citigroup! The pre-verse begins with Richie speaking the lyrics the gradually starting to sing. Underneath the simple rhythm guitar of this section someone is playing lead guitar licks. The rhythm guitar connecting the pre-intro with the musical verse had a Jimi Hendrix feel to it. There was a rhythm guitar change underneath the opening lyric line of the first verse. In between a couple of the lyric lines there were little lead guitar notes. The musical verse had a solid groove to it. There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus. Underneath the lyric line of the third chorus there was a few lead guitar notes. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section. This breakdown section lead to a minor solo. After the minor solo there was a second breakdown which lead to the major lead guitar solo. There was a minor solo over the top of the coda.
2.) "Hey You" - (David Chamberlain/bass/Phil Woodward - lead guitar/Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/Dave Jenkens - Hammond B3/Francessca Capasso - backing vocals/ Dave Jenkins - backing vocals/Alicia Morgan - backing vocals ) - This intro consisted of Richie playing a sixteenth-note hi-hat rhythm underneath a seventies funk influenced rhythm guitar. Too me, the intro sounded like something you would hear in the background of a police case in some seventies poise show. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. Though there is a rhythm guitar during the musical verse. By far it is the bass line makes the musical verse. I mean what a groove!!! There is a backing vocal after the first lyric. There are a couple lead guitar licks connecting the last lyric line of the verse with the first lyric line of the chorus. For the second verse there are a couple lead guitar licks before and after the fifth lyric line. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section that lead to a minor solo. There were several minor solo breaks scattered throughout the last chorus. After the musical coda there was a spoken vocal section that lead to a weird special effect.
3.) "Long Live Rock" -(David Chamberlain - bass/Phil Woodward - lead guitar/Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/Ben Schultz - slide guitar/Valerie Davis - backing vocals/Dave Jenkins - backing vocals/Alicia Morgan - backing vocals) - This track opens with a classic eighties rhythm riff. Bryan Adams recorded a song in the early eighties that had a very similar opening riff. Underneath this riff Richie is playing a bass drum and snare drum pattern. Over the top of the rhythm riff there is a couple lead guitar licks. For the second measure Richie switched to a standard hi-hat pattern. For the lyrical verse Richie's vocals sounded very similar to Ian Astbury of The Cult. After the first verse there are a couple lead guitar licks leading into the first pre-chorus. The drum and bass line sound made the pre-chorus. Richie kept the chorus very simple. After the second chorus there was a very simple laid back rock lead guitar solo.
4.) "American Fighters" - (Mark Meadows - bass/Dickie Sims - Hammond B3, Wurlitzer/Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/Ben Shultz - slide guitar/Valerie Davis - backing vocals/Dave Jenkins - backing vocals/Aina Skinnes O' Kane - backing vocals) - This track opens with an acoustic guitar rhythm and bass line. The acoustic guitar rhythm had an Allman Brother's feel to it. Over the top of the acoustic guitar rhythm there is a slide guitar arrangement. Richie used the same rhythm guitar arrangements for the musical verse as the ones for the intro. Underneath the third lyric line Richie began keeping time with his hi-hat. Underneath the fourth lyric line Richie begins playing the drum line. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus. There was an electric lead guitar solo in between the second and third choruses.
5.) "Buffalo Nation" - (David Chamberlain - bass/Phil Woodword - lead guitars/Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/John 'JT' Thomas - wurlitzer,Hammond B3/Dave jenkins - synth keyboards/Francessca Capasso - backing vocals/Alica morgan - backing vocals) - This track opens with an Indian chant over the top of a Hammond B3 keyboard arrangement. The main musical intro consisted of a very simple rock intro arrangement. The band used the same rhythm guitar for the musical verse as the one for the intro section. The B3 and Wurlitzer gave the underling arrangement a Doors feel. After the second chorus there is a breakdown section. Over the top of the breakdown there was a spoken vocal section. The spoken vocal runs all the way through the coda.
6.) "Blues Messenger" - (Will McGregor - bass/Jon Greathouse - keys/ Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/ Francessca Capasso - backing vocals/ Aina Skinnes O' Kane - backing vocals) - This song was amazingly great!!!
7.) "In The Name Of Freedom" - (David Chamberlain - bass/Sal Rodriquez - congas, percussion/ Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/ John 'JT' Thomas - wurlitzer,Hammond B3/ Francessca Capasso - backing vocals/Dave Jenkins - backing vocals/Alicia Morgan - backing vocals) - The way this song was arranged gave it an early seventies Santana sound.
8.) "Come Together In The U.S.A." -(Mark Meadows - bass/Jon Greathouse - synth, keyboards/Dickie Sims - keyboards/Ben Shultz - guitar/ Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/Chris Mostert - sax/Bill Lamb - trumpet/Mark Josephson - violin/ Francessca Capasso - backing vocals/ Dave Jenkins - backing vocals/ Aina Skinnes O' Kane - backing vocals) -There were several vocal accents over the top of this intro. At first, musically I thought the intro was reminiscent to early Styx. However, that changed just as soon as the vocal accents began. The musical verse had a simple funk groove to it. After the first chorus there was a small sax solo. After the second chorus there was a strange musical change that came out of the middle of nowhere. The breakdown section had a Country music feel to it. After the breakdown there was a small musical rest when the song kicks back in it had a The Who sound to it.
9.) "The Answer" - (Will McGregor - bass, Dickie Sims - Hammond B3, Richie Onori - drums, guitar, vocals/Francessca Capasso - backing vocals) -There was a minor solo over the top of this intro section. The way the intro was arranged reminded me a lot of the way Pat Travers has arranged many of his songs. There was an arrangement change for the musical verse. The musical verse had a heavy Blues feel to it. The chorus had a huge hook attached to it. There was a couple lead guitar licks connecting the first chorus with the second verse. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section. This breakdown section reminded me of the song "Willie And The Hand Jive" from Johnny Otis.
'In the name of Freedom' is the second solo release from Richie Onori. Who currently is also playing drums in Steve Priest's version of The Sweet and Stuart Smith's Heaven & Earth. The later of the two just release a new CD titled, 'Dirt'.
Outside of Country Music, today's musical artists do not show much true love for their Country unless they are trying to make a political statement. Richie is not one of those artists.
It does not matter which side of the political fence you stand, Democrat, Republican or Independent, there will be one thing that will be evident and one thing everyone will agree upon Richie has a deep love for his Nation and does not like the direction it is headed in.
The songs are heavily rooted in classic rock with influences such as The Allman Brothers Band, Bob Seger, and Pat Travers. This release is not for the younger generation though I think the younger musicians ought to be forced to listen to it so they can learn how music is meant to be written and recorded. If you're a member of the older generation that remembers when artists used actual musicians to record their music then this release is for you.