Gold Rings, Silver Bullets
REVIEW By Willard Manus

Jay Gordon is also out of Chicago, though he's pretty much been based in L.A. since 1985. This phenomenal guitarist--believe me, he's as good as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix--has led a small band ever since I first heard him at a local club. A songwriter and vocalist, he's always been known for his fiery, uncompromising approach to the blues. He's paid his dues for that commitment; there are a dozen rock bands out there who'd hire him in a blink, but he's followed his own muse, even if it didn't pay off commercially.

Now with the release of GOLD RINGS, SILVER BULLETS--JAY GORDON AND THE PENETRATORS, Gordon has a chance to score some big bucks for a change. GOLD RINGS, a mixture of blues, rock, fusion and even a dollop of punk, is a powerful and original CD, a statement by a major talent.

Gordon wrote all of the sixeen numbers on the CD (released under the Shuttle Music label). With titles like Fire and Brimstone Boogie, Sixstring Outlaw and Juke Joint, you can bet that the songs are passionate, the music explosive and in your face every minute of the way. Gordon's lyrics are about the things he knows best and cares most about--life and death, madness, anger, joy, love, courage, failure and triumph.

Gordon is baring his heart and soul this time out, but not in a drippy, self-centered way. On the contrary, each song is truly fired like a bullet at the listener (hence the title of the CD). Gordon plays and sings his ass off; ditto his backup people: John Schayer (bass guitar), Ric Daly, Johnny Walker and Lee Davis (drums).

Gordon has not only reinvigorated the blues, he's taken it to a new level. If there's any justice, he'll get the recognition due him this time around.