Mr. Big Play Special Acoustic Show. Plus New Album Details
Mr Big, well bassist Billy Sheehan and vocalist Eric Martin (guitarist Paul Gilbert and drummer Pat Torpey are absent), dropped into London’s legendray Ronnie Scott’s Club to play an acoustic set earlier this week, to help promote their up and coming new album What if…, the band’s first studio outing since 2001’s Actual Size. Xavier Russell was there to witness it.
Sheehan and Martin look relaxed as they field the usual selection of banal questions about- past tours, favourite venues, major influences, favourite Mr. Big album , tour riders and, not surprisingly, the new album.
If the gospel according to Martin is to be believed then it would appear that What If… was recorded live in the studio in a little over two weeks, a trend that was started by the recent Black Country Communion outing (Black Country). Martin, a big fan of overdubs, was strictly told by producer Kevin Shirley( who not did the Black Country Communion album, but also worked with both Iron Maiden and Journey) that there would be no overdubs. And if the one mixed track, (new single Undertow) aired at the end of their acoustic set was anything to go by, the rawness and live feel work a treat., and give Mr.Big’s brand of hard rock a much deserved kick up the backside.
Several golden oldies are aired with Sheehan on electric bass and Martin on accoustic guitar/vocals. These include Electrified and Where Do I Fit In. A couple of new ones are also thrown into the mix. Around The World Sheehan describes as virtually impossible to play, due to the song’s structure and intricacy, but he still managea to bend his bass backwards to churn out an incredibly complex sound.
The final new one is Stranger In My Life, a moving song about our war heroes. Martin’s voice has lost none of its power, and is especially potent on the big hit To Be With You, which turns into a singa-ong-a-Martin with the small but dedicated audience helping him out.
That leaves time for the Humble Pie classic 30 Days In The Hole; Steve Marriott would have been proud .of this fine rendition. I even spot Woody Woodmansey, one-time drummer with The Spiders From Mars, nodding approvingly!
Mr. Big are to release the new album on January 21.
The full track listing is:
2. American Beauty
3. Stranger In My Life
4. Nobody Takes the Blame
5. Still Ain’t Enough for Me
6. Once Upon a Time
7. As Far As I Can See
8. All The Way Up
9. I Won’t Get In My Way
10. Around The World
11. I Get The Feeling
Find out more at http://www.mrbigsite.com/