Well, it only took 28 years for this to see the light of day, but earlier in the summer, Don Barnes‘ first solo album was released on Melodic Rock Records. Best known as lead singer and guitarist for .38 Special, Barnes wrote a solo album back in 1989 and for legal purposes was never released until this year. Finally getting a hold of a copy, and able to give this the review it deserves, as well as listening to it over and over, I was simply amazed as these songs can still hold their own to this day. Not only does this album rock, it rocks hard. The title track,”Ride The Storm,” is proof enough for that statement. Barnes has a voice that is instantaneously recognizable and to the common ear, you just might think this is just a new .38 song. “Feelin’ Stronger Everyday,” a Chicago cover, is a feel good rocker with catchy guitar grooves with Barnes’ voice towering over the music and does it proud. “Don’t Look Down” sounds like it could have come 1984’s Tour De Force. “I’d do it all over Again,” just has that “.38 feel” to it, especially guitar-wise and with Barnes’ harmonies. My favorite on the album is track two, “Looking For You.” This song says it all, in my opinion and has for many years actually, as it has stood well against the test of time. Pick a .38 song and this compares to any one of them, hands down. The hook and chorus just make you feel young again. Guest performers are the late Mike and Jeff Porcaro from Toto and Denny Carmassi from Heart.
Released in June on Melodic Rock Records, Ride The Storm is a must have. Find it, order it, get one for your friend, but get it. You will not be disappointed. (You can get it on .38 Special’s webpage by the way.)