Personnel: Gary Hoey (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Matt Scurfield (drums).
Audio Mixer: Pete Peloquin.
Recording information: Studio Metronome, Brookline, NH; Wazoo Studios, Pelham.
Photographers: Michael Heeschen; Joe Nett.
Dust & Bones finds Gary Hoey picking up where he left off on 2013's Deja Blues. Once again, he's in a heavy blues mode, cranking up his amp to the breaking point and indulging in some old-school theatrics, like working his wah-wah pedal so it sings like Hendrix. That's not the only guitar god whose work is apparent here. "Steamroller" is dedicated to Johnny Winter, and there are echoes of Billy Gibbons and Eric Clapton, all filtered through Hoey's dexterous chops. Now a veteran of 25 years -- he nods toward his surfy beginnings on the album-closing "Soul Surfer" -- Hoey certainly can tip his hat to his peers but he has his own style, one that's designed as an eternal homage to the glory days of classic rock guitar. Dust & Bones hits these points quite strongly: nominally a blues album, it's really a testament to the blues-rock of the late '80s, a time when the guitar hero truly thrived by drawing from the past to celebrate the present. In 2016, Hoey isn't exactly alone -- there's Joe Bonamassa, for one -- but this affectionate glance back at six-string pyromania inadvertently shows us how much things have changed over the years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine