Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ken Tamplin "An Axe To Grind"

Ken Tamplin
An Axe To Grind
1990 Intense Records
Produced By: Ken Tamplin

album cover

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Track Listings

Music Box (:58)
Not Alone (3:51)
Goin' Home (5:27)
Armageddon (1:03)


Lead Vocals: Ken Tamplin
Lead Guitars: Mark St. John, Scott Van Zen, Lanny Cordola, Gary Buchanan, Joey Tafolla
Rhythm Guitars: Ken Tamplin
Bass: Chuck Wright, David Sikes
Drums: Joe Galletta, Ken Mary
Keyboards: Roger Mielke

I first discovered Ken Tamplin via his band Shout. Ken has one of those voices that was made for rock 'n roll. After the two Shout albums were released, I was hoping that Ken wasn't done with music. Then sometime in the early 1990's I would find his first solo album at a Christian bookstore. Like a lot of music from the early 90's, I first owned the cassette. It was another one of those tapes I kept in my truck and listened too all throughout high school.

The standout tracks in my opinion are the opening song, Livin' For My Lord and Straight Between the Eyes. Both are in your face metal. However Ken excels at more than just metal. Never Give Up is a great example of how he can handle melodic rock as well. Goin' Home showcases a more bluesy side of Ken.

Musically there are a lot of talented musicians that contributed their talents to this album. Just listen to the opening guitar on Goin' Home. Scott Van Zen just wails on his guitar, as does he on the instrumental Armageddon. Lanny Cordola (House of Lords) also shows up with a guitar in hand for a few of the short instrumentals such as Bouree In E Minor.

One of my favorite aspects of this album is the variety. One minute your face is being melted by some blazing guitar riff, then the next you find yourself listening to a bluesy rock tune, followed up by some light melodic rock. Ken has one of the best vocals in all of music that, period. I recently picked up a small lot of Ken's work on CD and I've bad a blast re-discovering some of his earlier work. I believe KMG Records re-released this album and his next solo album, Soul Survivor on a combo disc. If you want to add the original to your musical library, you may have to pay a few more bucks on the open secondary market. However you decide to buy this, it'll be well worth your money spent.

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