The Paul Nelson Band: Badass Generation (Friday Music/Sony Music Group)
Grammy-winning Johnny Winter producer picks up the baton.
Guitarist Paul Nelson’s new band quickly establish a bright, southern rock vibe, with rolling, Allman-ish guitar lines on the likes of Goodbye Forever and sweet slide on Please Come Home. And Nelson’s mentor Johnny Winter would doubtless approve of Cold Hearted Mama, as his student demonstrates that he knows a good guitar riff when he writes one.
But as matters progress, Nelson’s new outfit broaden their horizons. If singer Morten Fredheim’s voice is light rather than resonant, it’s well suited to PNB’s pleasing use of vocal harmonies. Meanwhile, Steve Vai’s influence is increasingly evident in the fizzing licks Nelson releases on the likes of Take It Back. If you’re after a soundtrack for summer sunshine, Badass Generation fits the bill.