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Joe Bouchard - Strange Legends

Joe Bouchard
Strange Legends
by Dani Bandolier at 09 September 2020, 8:11 AM

For the last two years JOE BOUCHARD (1971) has spent his Enchanted Evenings working on his 6th solo album titled “Strange Legends”, the latest release from the BLUE ÖYSTER CULT founding member and BÖC bass player of 16 years. For the production of this album he enlisted the help of drumming powerhouse Micky Curry who has played with HALL AND OATES, ALICE COOPER and is the current drummer for BRYAN ADAMS. Micky has over 40 gold records in his rock star archives. Several songs on “Strange Legends” were written by Joe Bouchard with John Shirley, long-time lyricist for BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, author of dozens of sci-fi novels and co-screenwriter for ‘The Crow’ starring Brandon Lee. Other songs on “Strange Legends” were written by the late John Elwood Cook, a very prolific songwriter on Joe’s earlier solo albums.

Joe says, “I really got to explore the production and mixing of this album like nothing I’ve ever done before. The guitar sounds are especially well produced. I play all the bass on this album, one thing that many of the BLUE ÖYSTER CULT fans miss on other projects and wanted to hear more of. The vocals and guitars fit so well with Micky’s drums. It’s the best I’ve ever done.” Right on. Drinkin’ like Bogey with a head full of gin‘The African Queen’ heads off to the Dark Continent for understated rock groove leading to ‘Forget About Love’, a song that stalks a bad relationship dynamic. ‘Walk of Fame’ strolls in and manages real BLUE ÖYSTER CULT majik with Joe’s voice not terribly sure of itself on the triplets but dependable all the same. ‘Hit and Run’ covers some lyrical ground but is hounded by cliché doggerel. ‘She’s a Legend’ likewise conjures the 1970’s BLUE ÖYSTER CULT spell. I dig the accommodating, melodic guitar lines here - they show a keen ear and journeyman songwriter's melodic sense with BÖC guitar tones you don’t hear often. Cover song of Ray Davies and THE KINKS “All Day and All of the Night” is passable. ‘Bottom for the Bottomless’ manages the strongest BÖC vibe on the release and this I Doth Pronounce My Favourite Song. The last song ‘Winter’ tasty-freezes out this release.

The music and songs here are tough for me to separate from Joe’s former A-List band, a band that is still going strong to this day and there are artifacts from those BÖC days on “Strange Legends”. BLUE ÖYSTER CULT always had a humorous aspect to their songwriting, as if they dared you to actually swallow the sci-fi swill they were passing around and did so without overselling the schtick; of course, with the mighty BUCK DHARMA in the band there was always his fine musical instincts to add to the Far-Out Man ¡! space cowbell dimension. JOE BOUCHARD is 71 years old as of this writing and “Strange Legends” is an excellent addition to where he’s been and what he’s been up to in his rock star music world. JOE BOUCHARD has another hard rock band called BLUE COUPE that is worth a listen, a band he shares with his brother Albert Bouchard another founding member of BÖC and with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Dennis Dunaway, a founder of the ALICE COOPER group.

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound …  dani bandoliers Spotify list …

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/272H3UBARsuksY3BqU0CzP?si=ethA7HmIRvK3J5CoSbRnbw

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The African Queen
2. Forget About Love
3. Walk of Fame
4. Hit and Run
5. Racin’ Thru the Desert
6. She’s a Legend
7. All Day and all of the Night
8. Once Upon a Time at the Border
9. Bottom for the Bottomless
10. Strangely in Love
11. Winter
Lineup:
Joe Bouchard – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Micky Curry – Drums/Background Vocals
Record Label: Deko Entertainment
     


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Edited 01 October 2020
 

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