Crossing The Line is the third studio album from Simon McBride, but he's hardly new to the music business, having been in the music industry for nearly two decades as a member of metal band Sweet Savage and, later, backing up Andrew Strong (who is best known for his starring role in The Commitments). This was, however, my first McBride purchase and I was blown away by his masterful, passionate rock/blues and scintillating guitar work. There are many pretenders to the blues throne, but only a select few who come close to Joe Bonamassa - and Simon is one of them. This is an album absolutely packed full of gutsy electric blues classics and will impress even the most sceptical hard blues fan. One of the best characteristics of Crossing The Line is the way the blistering riffs are executed, in that you can get almost as much pleasure from listening to McBride's little improvisations as you do from the solo. There's a decent mix of styles, slower burning blues and rockers as well, so it's not a one-dimensional collection of songs. There are too many choice cuts here to really pick out highlights, although, if pushed, my personal favourites are "Lead Us Away", "Alcatraz" and "Heartbreaker". Absolutely outstanding.
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