Classic Rock Magazine UK
Published January 2010 by Hugh Fielder
Original Foghat bassist Tony Stevens - who quit in 1975 but returned to the reformed line-up in the 90's - has taken advantage of the lingering American soft spot for the British blues rockers even naming his band after their biggest hit. To enhance the authenticity, Stevens has recruited drummer Eddie Zyne, who also has Foghat connections. But it's new member Billy Livesay (from Clarence Clemons' Temple Of Soul) who does most to imprint the bands style on the listener. Together with guitarist/keyboard player Tommy Hall, they serve up a robust pastiche of sinewy 70's rock, best illustrated by the way they twist The Who's "Join Together" and Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Bues" to their own ends. They also strut through half a dozen tailor-made Livesay songs and an overlooked latterday Foghat gem, "Looking For You", before sealing the deal with refreshed versions of "Slow Ride" and "Fool For The City". What could have been stodgy pub rock turns out surprisingly invigorating.
Indie-Music.com 2007 "Top MP3"
Indie-Music.com Award Winner!
"Congratulations, your music is excellent! You have been chosen as one of the exclusive 10 "Choice Cuts" on Indie-Music.com for our Annual "Top 25" selection! The production values on this material... are just ear candy! Plus the songs are hooky & substantial. It rocks, no doubt! Keep rockin'!"
Review from Independent Disc.com
Song of the Week - Nov 2007
Tony Stevens, original bass player for Foghat (and before that, Savoy Brown), brings his down and dirty blues based rock music into the 21st century with no bones about the past. Using the title of Foghat’s biggest commercial hit as his new bands moniker, he takes what could be misconstrued as an attempt to cash in on past accomplishments and turns it into a statement that should not go overlooked.
Recruiting former Foghat drummer Eddie Zyne, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, harmonica, and vocals) Tommy Hall, and former “Clarence Clemons Temple Of Soul” and “The Livesays” frontman (slide guitar, lead vocals) Billy Livesay, Stevens has assembled a top notch power blues rock outfit that captures the pure essence of 70s arena rock to a Tee. Using tight, intense, rhythm based rock to frame a pristine guitar sound and listener friendly vocals, Tony Stevens SLOW RiDE has everyone responding to their call to “Join Together.”
While placed 3rd in the running order, TSSR’s cover of The Who’s classic Join Together is a raucous, rollicking affair of pitch perfect rock. Giving sustenance and significance to this undertaking, it’ll have the “another-out-of-date/time-musician-trying-to-cash-in–on-the-past” critics eating crow even before the final bridge’s extended throw down. Following that is a cover of Willie Dixon’s Hoochie Coochie Man; it is so down-and-dirty blues that you’ll never be able to wash the impression from your head. It’s a shoulder-shakin’, hip-grinding, rhythm-slathered monster with greasy, ballsy, slide guitar and salutacious vocals that’ll leave the men awash in sweat and the women soaking wet.
If I were to tell you that a 3rd cover followed and that it was Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, you might respond by wondering what exactly this *new* band is bringing to the table. They are educating a new era of listeners to probably one of the best representations of the Classic Blues-Rock sound that ruled the 70’s. TSSR conjures up not only Foghat, but pre-80’s Aerosmith, Bad Company, Thin Lizzy, Nazareth, Edgar Winter, Spooky Tooth, Blue Cheer, and even The Amboy Dukes, to name a few. To say this could be used as a primer is to understate what should be the obvious – Can anyone improve Dylan’s classic, especially when they change the entire arrangement and meter of the song? Listen to this rendition and realize/believe how vital the blues based rock genre of the late 60s to mid 70s was. If any band nowadays were to come anywhere near as close to the cohesiveness of this unit, they could sweep the concert circuit for years.
And therein lies the problem with rock music and the corporate shirts who control it in the 21st century; any “dated” music or music genre, created or recreated by “old” Classic rockers who haven’t been actively selling records within the last 5 years, isn’t only not worth a look, but not worth a listen either – move forward – what sells? Certainly not gifted musicians who can not only write and cover music, but also arrange the rhythm and leads to form an undeniably powerful form of expression for the masses. I think that is why it is so important that TSSR has Billy Livesay up front, not only delivering a Steven Tyler –style vocal package, but also putting 5 original compositions on the table to meld the past and present. Three of which - Little Bit Of Hurt - Magic Hat - and Under The Heat Of A Full Moon - were previously released by Billy when he (and band) recorded as The Livesays. Each of Livesay’s tunes flow perfectly with the flavor of the covers and deliver another satisfyingly gritty and energetic piece of the puzzle.
The 3 final pieces of this throwback (sic) puzzle are Foghat covers; there’s Looking For You, from the 2003 (reformed) release “Family Joules,” plus two timeless Classics - Fool For The City and Slow Ride. How do the Classics measure up over 30 years later and with a different vocalist? Let’s just say that fans of the originals will be pleased (even as they weigh the scale with an old-school hand), while those unfamiliar with the originals might just be surprised at how really great original songs can hold up over the course of time. Especially when they are redone with the loving hands of those not only involved with their original creation, but also those who thoroughly understand and believe in the greatness of the overall sound/genre, and who can not only give a powerful reproduction of, but also a significant reintroduction to, what surely was one of the cutting edges of Rock.-- 30 plus years later this SLOW RiDE is still cruising.
“You know the rhythm is right -- We’re gonna rock all night”
Review from Rocktip.de (Germany)
rocktip.de album of the month march 2008 • Tony Stevens Slow Ride • Join together (11 Songs - 47:32 min)
Das ehemalige Foghat Mitglied “Tony Stevens” mit seiner neuen Band. Einer der grössten Hits von Foghat stand beim Bandnamen Pate und ist natürlich auch auf dem Album verteten. Als wäre die Zeit stehen geblieben. Toller 70s oder 80s (Hard)-Rock mit Gitarren und Piano satt. Starke Songs, tolle Stimme ein klarer rocktip. Highlights: der Opener “little bit of hurt”, “redemption”, “join together”(Who-Cover) und die Foghat-Klassiker “fool for the city” und “slow ride.”
~ translation ~
rocktip.de album of the month march 2008 • Tony Stevens Slow Ride • Join together (11 Songs - 47:32 min)
The former Foghat member "Tony Stevens" with his new band. One of the biggest hits from Foghat was inspiration for the bandname and is of course also on the album. As if time stood still. Great 70s or 80s (Hard)-Rock with fat guitars and piano. Strong songs, great voice, a definite rock tip. Highlights: the opener "little bit of hurt", "redemption", join together (Who-Cover) and the Foghat classics "fool for the city" and "slow ride."
Review from www.getreadytorock.com
TONY STEVENS' SLOW RIDE Join Together Lion Music (2007)
Slow Ride, to all those in the know, hints at Stevens' previous band Foghat, with whom the bass player and founder member had two stints. Joined by drummer Eddie Zyne and guitarists Billy Livesay and Tommy Hall, the blues rock sound here nods as much at a Southern Rock direction as it does boogie. Solid, medium paced, opening track "A Little Bit Of Hurt" and its follow up "Redemption", featuring some great slide guitar, could easily mix Molly Hatchet with Chris Rea at his best. "Join Together" has a good chorus, kinda catchy, and a decent guitar solo, but does highlight the risk of the "easy" sound. Back to the beefed up blues for "Hoochie Coochie Man", which has that "MOR" nod at Thorogood and "Bad To The Bone". But it does have, like the Dylan cover "Subterranean Blues", some outstanding guitar, and Stevens' bass is right on the ball too. One of the stand out tracks is the Foghat (Stevens/Bassett/Earl/Hunn) composition "Looking For You", a prime slice of hard rock a blues nod. Good stuff there. The album from then does pick up, proving the cleaner sound with a slightly aggressive feel that moves away from the fuzzy Rea MOR is where this band sound best by far. "Under The Heat Of A Full Moon" is a slow and powerful number, with searing guitar and vocals. To finish the album, there's two early Foghat numbers, a slow and bluesy take on "Fool For The City", and of course "Slow Ride", heavy, modern, great guitar sound. Great set, a little room for improvement; definitely looking forward to the next set!
~Joe Geesin www.getreadytorock.com
Customer Reviews on CD Baby
Stephen Dees, bassist, Hall and Oates, writes:
Kudos to Tony Stevens for assembling the perfect line up for his new group "Slow Ride". Bassist and former original Foghat member, Tony Stevens, has found the ideal groove-mate in drummer Eddie Zyne. These two rhythm aces lay down a rock solid foundation, second to none. Add Tommy Hall's scorching guitar and Billy Livesay's classic blues rock vocal stylings and fluid slide/lead guitar licks; and you have a lethal combination. Blues rock in the tradition of "Humble Pie", "Bad Company", and of course "Foghat". The performance, production and arrangement are all spot on. "Redemption", penned by Billy; is perhaps the CD's strongest track. Other standout's include; "Little Bit of Hurt" and "Magic Hat" co-written by Mr. Livesay. There are also excellent renditions of the Who's "Join Together" and Foghat's "Fool for the City". BUY IT!!!
In my opinion this sounds more like Foghat then the current version of Foghat. Every track is just amazing. Not many albums out there that make me bop in my seat, this happened on every track.
Excellent CD, I really like the songs "Little Bit of Hurt", "Redemption" and "Magic Hat." If you're a fan of Foghat or blues rock in general you'll love this CD.
This is a great album! Not one bad track on this CD. I can't say that about too many other albums I have bought. You won't be disappointed!!
Some Mighty Fine Music! Great- PLAYERS, Vocals and superb song writing. If you do not have this CD you really need to get it, and one for a "present" would be nice too. All these Musicians are Excellent clean players. Eddie Z. on drums is one Heck of a drummer! Billy's lyrics and clean guitar playing heard on this CD is what 2008 should be. It's what's happening Today that counts. Rock & Roll! Words you can Hear and Music you can love and enjoy. Over My Head is a HIT! All the songs are Fantastic!
Let's face it. Classic rock is still classic. It still has the beat..and the groove..the guitars..the growling bass.. and the vocals that grab you right THERE. Feel it. These guys know ROCK. Long live rock. A new classic... Slow Ride.
What can I say? These guys are great! Fool for the city. 5 stars. Lonesome Dave would be proud.
Congratulations! This is one of the best rock records I've heard in quite a long time. Soulful voice, music like BAD COMPANY during their best times. Keep on rocking, guys! Hope the next CD is coming soon!