The Moonstone Project CD arrived yesterday and I've been listening to it constantly since. Projects like this, involving multiple vocalists, tend to either be inconsistent or bland. Fortunately, this album is neither. It grooves along nicely and is solid with high-quality material. The performances are superb: the guitarist plays with a warm, consistent feeling and doesn't go off noodling about and there's loads of Hammond organ (my favorite) that blends with the guitars perfectly. The singers all put in spirited performances as well.
Things kick off, unexpectedly, with a little swampy acoustic guitar and the bluesy riff of "Slave of Time". Great song with Kelly Keeling on lead vocals.
Then we get "Not Dead Yet" with a riff reminiscent of Rainbow/Deep Purple. I've always liked Graham Bonnet and he doesn't disappoint here. His vocals are positively acidic and really capture the tone of the lyrics. My only complaint is the vocals on this track seem to have been mixed a little low in comparison with the other songs on the CD.
Next we get a cover of Free's Fire & Water. As a HUGE Free fan, I shudder whenever someone covers a Free song. How can one improve upon perfection? But they do a fine job on the song even though I prefer the original.
Glenn puts in 2 terrific performances (Rose in Hell and Where Do You Hide the Blues You've Got) and his velvet voice really adds a dimension of soul and passion. The 2 songs are strong on their own but Glenn's voice just kicks them up a level. Ian Paice is instantly recognizable on the drums too.
Beggar of Love is funky, bluesy and fun. Cock-rock for the new millenium?
The biggest surprise for me was hearing Steve Walsh belt out "City of Lites". Its easily my favorite song on the album. I don't think I've ever heard a song this heavy be so melodic. I think this could have been tried as a single. Big applause for the writers of this track (and Steve Walsh)
This a must-get CD. So far the best release of 2006 and I really hope this gets some promotion. It will be a crying shame to see an album of this quality fade away unnoticed