Tuesday, April 16, 2024

We’ve Got a Live One in John Fishell

Rock singer, guitarist, songwriter, performer, producer, engineer and educator John Fishell hails from Alexandria, Virginia near Washington DC, in the US of A. You’d think the polymath wouldn’t get much of a chance to get out and about but new album We’ve Got a Live One proves that theory wrong.

Originally broadcast in June 2022 from the Wreckingroom Studio in Lyons, Colorado via the www.volume.com streaming platform, Fishell spent the next few months mixing the multitrack recording to his exacting and demanding standards.  

“On that night, the band guys were killing it as usual, my guitar playing and singing worked out, and I thought my overall emotion translated pretty well into the recording, so boom – That’s an album right there!” he said of the resulting album that is now available on most platforms featuring an energetic 45-minute live-performed set of his original music, alongside two covers.

Many of the album tracks have not yet been released as studio versions so the public is hearing songs like ‘Here’s Looking At You’ and ‘God Save The Queen’ for the very first time.  Fishell makes clever use of synchronised backing tracks culled from the studio recordings (all self-performed), lending a huge, larger-than-life sound usually reserved for the big boys, rock legends, and bands with more than three total members.  And just when you think there’s nowhere to go, he is able to shift gears into sensitive-yet-epic ballads at key points in the set to keep things dynamic and interesting.

Fishell’s musical influences are quite clear throughout the album – It’s said fans of The Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, AC/DC, Queen, Led Zeppelin and even The Beatles, The Who, 70s, 80s and 90s rock will feel vindication. His singing voice has been described as “clever/compact” with “thoughtful song construction, and some eclectic nuggets”. Veterans Brian McRae (drums) and Mario Pagliarulo (bass) form the solid-yet-explosive rhythm section, allowing Fishell the platform and freedom to deliver a thrilling and heartfelt performance.  

Unexpected highlights include an interesting dance version of AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells’ complete with a “balls-in-the-vicegrips” ending vocal, smooth Rush-like time signature shifts in the song ‘Here’s Looking at You’, a glam rock “stadium shout” gem in ‘God Save The Queen’, and the radio-friendly ‘Pushing And Pulling’.  

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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