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Don Barnes - Ride The Storm

Don Barnes
Ride The Storm
by Stew Metallion Taylor at 25 September 2017, 11:17 AM

DON BARNES has finally issued the long lost previously un-released album “Ride The Storm”, first recorded in 1989 but shelved due to the record label (A&M Records) being sold. Don is famously known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for Southern/ Melodic Rock giants 38 SPECIAL. Barnes performed lead vocals on many of the group's biggest hits, including "Rockin’ In To The Night", "Hold On Loosely", "Caught Up In You", "If I'd Been the One", "Back Where You Belong” and "Like No Other Night".

“Ride The Storm” includes nine original tracks and a cover of CHICAGO's “Feelin Stronger Every Day”.  The band is made up of other A & M musicians of the time including TOTO’s Mike and Jeff Porcaro, Denny Carmassi (HEART), Dan Huff (GIANT) and Alan Pasqua (GIANT/STARSHIP). So, a stellar Melodic Rock line-up of that era. The record has been re-mixed and resurrected by Melodic Rock Records. A nice slice of American Rock it is too. Very much in the style of 38 SPECIAL, but with some even more Melodic and Softer Rock moments.

In fact, this album compares with some of 38 SPECIAL’s better moments. Why it never saw the light of day is a bit of a mystery as it has plenty of quality tracks. It has a more AOR feel than some of Don’s main bands more driving Rock moments. Title track “Ride The Storm” is one of the more rock-out tracks with loud guitars and a good opener. “Looking For You” is a “keyboardy” tune. You get the feeling of HEART or even STEVE WINWOOD. After the opening rocky track, this now let’s you know this is going to be a more AOR album. “I'd Do It All Over Again” is a typical 80’s rocker similar to the likes of FOREIGNER with that 80’s feel- good factor. “Johnny Ain't So Cool” could even be something by WANG CHUNG the long lost Pop Rockers famous for various movie soundtrack tunes. A stand-out track may be “After The Way” with its slight Blues tinge.

“Ride The Storm” is not a classic in any way, but is a whole lot of fun and has those feel-good vibes. If you are in the mood for some 80’s nostalgia, I recommend this. It is perfect for cruising in your convertible with a well-manicured mullet and a jacket with sleeves rolled-up to the elbows.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8


3 Star Rating

1. Ride The Storm
2. Looking For You
3. I Fall Back
4. Don't Look Down
5. Maybe You'll Believe Me Now
6. I'd Do It All Over Again
7. Every Time We Say Goodbye
8. Feelin' Stronger Every Day
9. After The Way
10. Johnny Ain't So Cool
Don Barnes- vocals, guitars
Mike  Porcaro- bass
Jeff Porcaro- drums
Denny Carmass- drums
Dan Huff- guitars
Alan Pasqua- keyboards
Record Label: MelodicRock Records


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