I sat down in my office to review an album that was released a year ago. This is unprecedented as it’s been out for awhile and has been already reviewed by many publications. But, it was sent by a friend, so I sat down and put on the headphones and settled in. My listening experience was pure joy. Mitch Perry Group‘s release of “Music Box” on March 24, 2020, which was right in the middle of one the craziest periods in decades as the Covid-19 pandemic was in full force and to some went highly unnoticed. This album hits the hearts and souls of all the rock and roll purists as each track has it’s own flavor. With the help of three vocalists, the vibe goes from blues, rock, Motown, and to soul. The album was tugging on my music roots with both hands as I sat and listened and remained firmly planted through the entirety of the recording for the forth time.
The initial track, “St. Valentine”, has a bluesy kind of dance beat in a Georgia Satellites/Black Crowes kind of way. Keith England sings lead on this song with Kara Turner and Shelley Bonet on backing vocals. Keith England has a variety of vocal influences from Frank Sinatra to Greg Allman. He even sang in the Allman Brothers in the later years. “St. Valentine” is one of my favorites on the album and sets the tone immediately as it starts your senses trying to identify what and where you have heard a song like this before?
Just as I was wondering if I needed to continue listening at a high volume because this was going to be a rocking dance album, I watched the video for the next track, “Believe”. It starts out with a somber intro by Ed Roth on keyboards. Keith’s vocals come in and slowly bring an uplifting and optimistic message to a crescendo. The video is tied into the Covid mask visualization which makes the lyrics of the song that much more powerful. The message of the video and song is that everything will be alright. From the message and the emotions I felt watching the video which I was actually moved by it. I vote this is my favorite track on the album.
I was in a somber place after listening to “Believe”. That didn’t last as the next track “In The Morning” kicked in with it’s funky beat and just slapped me back to reality and enjoying the mix of vocals from Keith, Shelley, and Kara. Mixing in Ed’s key boards and Mitch’s lead guitar, which had been missing up to this point, the dance beat was back, and it was full stream ahead.
The forth track “Soul Stare” really got my juices flowing with the soulful voice of Shelley Bonet in an almost Motown fashion. The diversity of this album was really becoming evident.
What would a diverse album be without a classic? A remake of “Jumping Jack Flash” with a blues flair is right in the middle of the lineup. Tal Bergman on drums and Dan McNay on bass navigate the 6:47 minutes of this classic, keeping the musical tangents in line from beginning to end and keeping it a “gas”. Just when I thought I had a handle of what I was ingesting, the next composition comes along an amazing acoustic intro to the song “Wasted Time”. Adding a slide guitar and a southern feel, we are headed into a completely different direction.
The seventh track returns me back to a place I’ve been before, the soulful vocals of Shelley Bonet in “Pack It Up and Going”, is a high energy funky blues song with Kara and Keith in supporting vocals. The track continues into the song “Remember Me”, an instrumental highlighting Ed Roth on the ivories and Mitch Perry playing some soulful leads. This track was exactly what I was expecting on this album. It wasn’t a tragedy that I had to wait as long as I did on this journey because it was so much more than I expected.
The last two tracks are incredible if you are a fan of female vocalists that sing pulling from the places nobody talks about at parties. Shelley Bonet just reaches back and gives her all in “The Pain”; it’s a truly heartfelt rendition. On the other end of the spectrum, Kara Turner’s smooth silky voice in “I miss You” is equally heartfelt, and you almost feel like your listening to a lounge singer.
“Music Box” was recorded to be listened to from beginning to end, enjoying the complete experience of the genres of music’s roots.
All in all, “Music Box” covers the very roots that have made rock and roll what it is today.
Bravo Mitch Perry Group! This album is the best I have reviewed in years!
Mitch Perry – Guitar/Vocals
Keith England – Vocals
Shelley Bonet – Vocals
Kara Turner – Vocals
Ed Roth – Keyboards
Dave Schultz – Keyboards
Tal Bergman – Drums
Mitch Perry is an internationally acclaimed award winning Music Producer, Songwriter & Musician. He has appeared on over 60 albums over the years with many going gold and platinum. Mitch Perry has recorded and toured with Asia, Cher, Aerosmith, Steeler, Talas, Lita Ford, Graham Nash, Edgar Winter, and Sweet. Most notably, Mitch replaced Yngwie Malmsteen in the band Steeler, and Randy Rhoads in Quiet Riot.
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Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.