Album Review of
Blues Lightning

Written by Robert Silverstein
November 27, 2020 - 2:09pm EST
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Bronx-born, San Diego-based guitarist Wayne Riker strikes blues-rock gold with his 2020 CD, Blues Lightning. Spotlighting The Wayne Riker Gathering, the Blues Lightning CD may contain only six tracks yet, start to finish it’s packed with loads of solid blues-rock action with each of the tracks spotlighting Wayne’s sizzling lead guitar work and his band-leading skills. Key to the album is the six different lead singers that take the vocal spotlight on each of their respective tunes. With the vocalists taking turns on their different tracks, Wayne’s core band features some excellent players, including Doug Kvandal (organ), Mackenzie Leighton (bass) and Walt Riker (drums). A live-in-the-studio album, Blues Lightning offers both a close-up view of Wayne's live band in action as well as a studio recording that makes the most of an intimate set performed live in front of an appreciative audience. A multi-tasking guitarist that has been performing and teaching since 1973, Wayne has also released ten guitar instruction books and he’s also been an instructional guitar columnist since 1998. You can pick up on Wayne's story via his 2017 autobiography 50 Years, 50 Bands, 50 Bucks. Having released three solo albums and ten group recordings under his own name, Blues Lightning is a very cool album to pick up on the white-hot, blues-rock sound of Wayne Riker.