Ally Venable: Heart of Fire Review
Ally Venable’s fourth release, Heart Of Fire, is another testament to this 21-year-old’s ability to play and sing the blues like a seasoned veteran. Hailing from Texas, USA, Ally keeps up with the state’s tradition of great blues music by delivering a thrilling selection of blues and rock tracks, combined with a little hint of country. Ally’s guitar is the center of attention here but she’s also a very competent singer and is backed by a tight band that makes sure she shows everything she’s got. Also, the album includes the participation of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Devon Allman, son of the legendary Gregg Allman.
The music consists mostly of riff-driven hard texas blues, but in some moments, Ally drifts towards slower tempos and softer approaches, showing how versatile she can be. Even though there’s a clear Stevie Ray Vaughan (Ally’s hero) influence, her guitar tone is quite unique and modern-sounding making her delivery of riffs and solos very fresh, and as original as possible for this kind of music. Her vocals also contribute to this feeling of modernity because her voice, as bluesy as it is, sounds somewhat more pop-ish and accessible than most blues artists’ voices. This may displease some of the genre’s purists, but I think it’s great, especially to keep blues music alive among the younger generations.
The album highlights, in my opinion, are the heavy-sounding title track, with its catchy chorus and blazing solo; The emotional and country-ish “Road to Nowhere”, featuring an amazing Devon Allman’s guitar solo; The hard-rocking and fun “Hard Change”; the dense and touching “Bring On The Pain”, which includes the flaming licks and solos of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the heartfelt instrumental “Tribute to SRV”. Stevie would be very proud of this girl, I’m very sure.
In conclusion, Ally stuns with another rock-solid release. The fact is that she is no longer a promising act, as some say, but rather an already established artist that puts out great record after another. Get yourself this album and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Heart Of Fire
– Road To Nowhere
– Bring On The Pain
– Hard Change
– Tribute To SRV
The Big Hit
– Road to Nowhere