The supergroup Snakecharmer was originally founded in 2011 by former Whitesnake members Micky Moody and Neil Murray along with the perfect mix of high calibre musicians including Laurie Wisefield (Wishbone Ash), Harry James (Thunder, Magnum), Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne), and Chris Ousey (Heartland). The band’s debut self-titled album was released in 2013 and musically the record showed a finely crafted hard rock style mixed with blues and melodic overtones, akin to Whitesnake (1979-81 era) and Bad Company with hints of early Foreigner as well. In 2016, Moody left the band and was replaced by the Irish-born Simon McBride on lead guitar. Simon was hailed “among the best blues-rock players anywhere in the world” by Guitarist Magazine and has built up an impressive resume playing with outstanding rock, soul, and blues artists.
Bringing us up to date is this new release “Second Skin”. What we have here is a huge slice of blues based, good old rock and roll. Snakecharmer aims to take us back to those heady days where guitar players played proper musical solos and the lead singer pours their heart and soul into each vocal line.
The songs are well crafted and show a maturity of songwriting that can only come from such experienced musicians. Simon McBride’s guitar virtuosity shines through and Chris Ousey has, as we say in Yorkshire, “a right set of lungs on him”.
This is an album that will appeal to young and old alike. Those looking to relive their listening days from Bad Company and Whitesnake will hear something that is comfortably familiar yet fresh and new and those who are just discovering the older classics will appreciate that these guys can still cut it and produce some great new music.
Stand out tracks for me are the AOR driven “That Kind of Love”, “Dress it Up” with its bluesy organ and singalong chorus and the superb ballad “I’ll Take You as Your Are”.
Strong, passionate, rocking, and blues-laden, “Second Skin” is quality British hard rock at its very best!
It’s a huge 5/5 from me.
SNAKECHARMER UK TOUR DATES:
May 05 Cardiff, The Globe
May 07 Bingley, Bingley Arts Centre
May 10 Hull, Fruit
May 12 Sheffield, The Plug
May 13 Tavistock, The Wharf
May 14 London, O2 Academy Islington
May 18 Newcastle upon Tyne, O2 Academy
May 19 Glasgow, The ABC
May 24 Preston , Guildhall
May 26 Frome, Cheese And Grain
May 27 Holmfirth, Picturedrome