'Manifesto' of a Disgruntled Guitar Legend
It's not an album, it's an out and out “manifesto”. Jeff Beck has broken his six-year silence in the face of the unbearable need, as he himself describes it, to express his "point of view" of a society about which there are too many things that he doesn't like. He did it in the only way he knows how, with one of his Stratocasters and a brand new album, Loud Hailer, a "megaphone" with the volume set at maximum and a lot of barely contained rage. Seventy years old, and a living guitar legend gives him the right to do that and a lot more. That is why he is back on our Jukebox with this new release in the middle of this torrid July of 2016.
“The revolution will be televised”, he proclaims in the first song. As hot as summer itself, Beck not only seems pissed off at the world surrounding him but also gives the impression it applies to his peers as well, the ones who seem like they're striving to remember how a guitar should be played. From the dance floor to metal, without sparing a single genre in its 11 songs, the "70-something" maestro has saved his hands from the ravages of age with such a display of technique that only a single adjective describes it: insulting.
Beck's ‘megaphone’ also sins of nostalgia, but welcome it is when it produces great songs like Live in the Dark and the crazed techno-country -or whatever the hell it is- of Thugs Club, a nightmare for lovers of 'special' effects that attempt to emulate the 'grandfather'.
Beck has something for everyone, even the revival of psychedelia disguised as progressive rock. Scared for the Children could be a good example of his aftertaste of Voodoo Chile, as he himself confessed to Rolling Stone: they are just four notes that unconsciously came out from him. When he realized it, he didn't want to change them. “I never loved Hendrix as much as I do now”, he declared in recommending his 1969 concert at the Royal Albert Hall and, in particular, the “incredible” solo on Red House.
Beck also has a new ‘girl’ or, more accurately, he has two. It is their contribution to his current band, the singer Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg, a young London duo of 20-somethings who take your breath away in every sense of the word and share the same producer with Beck, Filippo Cimatti. In addition to putting the ideas of the boss in order, he was also responsible for the rhythm section foundation, also out of the Italian school, with Davide Sollazzi on drums and Giovanni Pallotti on bass.
Beck released his ‘manifesto’ on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his solo career –on the 10th August -, and celebrating it to the max at the Hollywood Bowl with a concert in which he will be surrounded by a large orchestra and special guests as Buddy Guy, Beth Hart and Steven Tyler. And a couple of 'blondes’ that could be his granddaughters. A serious and well-deserved tribute that will undoubtedly leave him with scant desire to retire.