Eric Ambel, “Lakeside” –
Shuffling on with “Here Comes My Love,” Eric “Roscoe” Ambel has delivered a rarity in 2016 — a rock ‘n’ roll album powered by serious guitar.
Taking the album title from his now shuttered New York City bar, the Lakeside Lounge, Ambel decries the move away from live bands in “Hey Mr. DJ” then shows why guitars rule anywhere, anytime.
Four of the 10 songs on the record run to about five minutes, allowing Ambel — lead guitarist in Joan Jett’s original version of the Blackhearts, a Del Lord and Steve Earle sideman — to stretch out with his wicked fretwork, playing it melodic and shimmering on the “riding around with her rag top down” tale of “Miss Ohio,” nice and dirty on “Don’t Make Me Break You Down” and bringing the “Buyback Blues.”
There’s some Ramones-ish punk rock on “Massive Confusion” and a great cover of Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want)” that turns the Motown classic into twisting rock ‘n’ roll — a clinching blast on the record that Ambel, one of the top roots rock producers, crafted in his studio. Grade: A