"Shake The Devil - The Lost Sessions" (Cleopatra Records; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Shake the Devil" is a compilation of demos and outtakes from the recording sessions of Tommy Bolin's "Private Eyes" recording from 1976. Like most compilations of its type, "Shake the Devil" doesn't always feature the best quality recordings. The tracks hiss and warble and were obviously never intended to be released as a finished studio album. But the interesting thing here is that the songwriting and musicianship throughout is amazing and, strangely enough, that rough, unfinished sound works for the style of music involved.

Bolin was a hugely respected guitarist whose work with Deep Purple and The James Gang was well-respected and idolized even after his death from a heroin overdose. "Shake the Devil" is another opportunity to enjoy the man’s magic and is as interesting for its historical value as well as its quality content.

Most interesting is the pair of demos for “Gypsy Soul,” one acoustic and one rehearsal. These two tracks give the listener real insight to how songs are created and evolve.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.