Various ArtistsMister Bolin’s Late Night Revival
Record Label: Rainbow Foundation
Review by Sal Serio
At the time of Tommy Bolin’s tragic late 1976 drug overdose, the musician had a large cache of new songs recorded as demos. The new “Mister Bolin’s Late Night Revival” compilation asks “What If”… The concept is: “What if the guitar hotshot sought help for his addictions, and lived to release this material in full ensemble album form?” Not coincidentally, some of the proceeds from this project will go to Jackson Recovery Center, a rehab facility in Bolin’s hometown of Sioux City, Iowa.
An overwhelming early 80’s poppy metal sound hangs on many of the performances, which perhaps is appropriate. Had Bolin lived to complete a couple more album releases, he’d have been staring at a musical future in the 80s decade, when metal poofed up it’s hair, added synthesizers, and huge pop choruses. Considering that vocalists from Rainbow, Foreigner, and Mr. Big are featured on the CD, the 80s connection is apparent. However, appearances by several Christian rock artists is not as obvious an association.
One standout track is “Evening Rain” by Christina Sanchez, featuring a flamenco sounding guitar solo reminiscent of Bolin’s own “Savannah Woman” or “Gypsy Soul”. Another is “Slow Driver” with smokin’ hot lead guitar provided by Bolin’s contemporary John Bartle, and sung with conviction by Boston’s Kimberley Dahme.