Eric Bell - Exile

Eric Bell Exile cover
Eric Bell
On The Edge/Cargo Records
Eric Bell is best known as a founding member and the original guitarist of the rock group Thin Lizzy, but also a member of the Noel Redding Band (Hendrix’s bassist) and a solo artist, with this one being like his overall ninth release (incl. some live and an EP).
It’s the first new material since 2009’s “Lonely Nights” and it’ an unpretentious soft songwriter style album that has its rock roots some faint folk moments, generally a laid back approach that belies Eric’s time with both the “bigger” acts he was involved with and is overflowing with a load of the good ole blues. Done at his own pace and totally free from constraints “Exile” feels both oh well “expelled” and out there, but also “free” to roam. And it just does that.
“Deep in Your Heart” has a nice “country” feel, not exactly the American twangy stuff, but a more natural folk inspired tone that’s quite relaxing.
“Don’t Love Me No More” has a soulful vibe combined with some quite Hendrix-y moments… not bad at all...
“Gotta Say Bye Bye” is quite reminiscent of the old folk/blues inspired material of Lizzy, when he was still in the band but with the blues overflowing…
“Vote for Me” has a nice rock riff, but is dripping with irony, about politicians being up to no good.
“Exile” is probably autobiographical and soft and placid… if not a little bitter about the bad hands that fortune dealt him back in the day.
“Little Boy Running” has a similar premise but is both a little brighter sounding and quite more optimistic.
“Rip It Up” is that old rock & roll number that Little Richard did first, but everybody pretty much covered afterwards, done in quite a convincing and spirited way.
“Concrete Jungle” isn’t a Bob Marley cover, but a nice funky rocker, probably one of the catchiest things on here and in a way, something that you could imagine Lizzy doing. Matter of fact, Bell says that half of these songs are quite old, while others came together recently. The whole album has a few different moods but thankfully doesn’t feel disjointed…
“Thank God” is a bit of a “religious experience” done over a big of a country/bluesy twang, not bad, but not my cup of tea…
Last but not least, “Song for Gary” is obviously a dedication to the late Gary Moore, a weird combination of spoken word all about how he first met the man, an 11 year old boy at the time… and fast forwarding to his untimely death, before launching to a really beautiful and mournful solo that’s just heart melting…
Obviously this “blues rock” Irish thing might not be for everyone, but the man and this album deserve respect, since artistry is not in what you do bow how you do it…