"Temporary Eternity" – Barry Richman

AMGEMS Records

As a big Hendrix fan, it always pleases me to see someone else wearing their
passion for Jimi on their sleeve. This album's opening cut And the Dogs
Made Love is a blatant homage to And the Gods Made Love from
"Electric Ladyland", right up to the searing bursts of feedback that
comprise the tune. The next tune, Jellybread, fits right in with some
funky, bluesy riffs that occasionally sounded Jimi-esque. It is obvious from
the beginning that Barry Richman is aiming for a high standard, and he keeps
it going throughout the disc.

White Trash TV is an amusing, bluesy take on the demented circus
presented by shows like Jerry Springer. Zambi provides another overt
reference to one of Richman's musical idols, Col. Bruce Hampton, with whom
Richman played in Bruce's short-lived Planet Zambi. However, this cut
sounded more like "Hot Rats"-era Frank Zappa to my ears, which is still not
a bad thing to sound like. I half-expected the band to break into Peaches
en Regalia at any moment.

The centerpiece of the album is a three-song instrumental medley composed of
Macon, the title track, and 151 Avenue B. The first is a
breezy Southern groove with the ascending lines of an Allman Brothers jam. I
have heard Richman say in interviews that the title of this track is meant
as an homage to the birthplace of the Brothers. This song features some of
Richman's best playing on the album, with his clean, soaring lines reminding
me at times of Dickey Betts at his very best. A great tempo change in the
middle provides a nice dynamic shift, also in the great Allmans tradition.

After the title track, which is really just a glorified segue, we slide into
the Latin-flavored 151 Avenue B, which features some excellent alto
sax work from Tomas Ramirez and yet another scorching solo by Richman. This
may well be the album's most rhythmic piece. By the time this triad is over,
Richman and his compatriots have covered a lot of musical ground, and it all
sounds good.

Black Texas Highway is a warp-speed Texas blues number that shows how
fast Richman can play while still maintaining good tone and articulation,
not an easy matter. Jeff Sipe (aka Apt. Q 258), of Aquarium Rescue Unit and
Leftover Salmon fame is present on this tune and Giant Tacos, which
could be some great lost outtake from Jeff Beck's "Wired" period, with all
the energy and talent that would indicate. Sipe takes a great drum solo, but
Richman once again is in the spotlight with burning-hot licks that prevent
the Beck comparison from being facetious.

As you can probably tell by now, there is a lot of music on this album that
is reminiscent of other artists, at least in my opinion. However, Richman's
signature guitar sound tends to make each song his own, even a cover of
Robben Ford's Tea Time. Still, all good music has to come from good
roots, and based on musical taste alone, Richman has my vote. Add in Jimmy
Herring-like chops, a good compositional sense and lots of soul, and you
have a man who, if the world was a truly righteous place, would be the Steve
Kimock of the Eastern United States.