New Music Review: ERIC BELL “Exile”

REVIEW – The wonderful sound that comes from the Fender Stratocaster that’s cradled in ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell’s hands is audible once again with his new album “Exile”, his first collection of new material in seven years, released February 26, 2016 via Of The Edge/Cargo.  This is the guy that made the Irish drinking song “Whiskey In The Jar” popular enough to transcend genres, and founded one of, if not THE best band to come out of Ireland, Thin Lizzy.

Bell’s roots with guitar go back to the mid-60s with a short stint in Van Morrison’s THEM, and eventually forming Thin Lizzy in 1970, with their debut album released in 1971. Bell made three albums with Lizzy (including 1972’s “Shades Of A Blue Orphanage”, and “Vagabonds Of The Western World” in 1973) before needing to leave the band for substance abuse and mental health reasons. He also joined up with Experience bassist, Noel Redding’s project for a while, before forming his own blues outfit and sticking with that formula.

Although Eric has nothing to prove to anyone, and has said that he does albums that satisfy him.  If they happen to make others feel they way he does, that’s great, but Eric makes the music that makes him the most happy.  That being said, Eric should get a singer for his band. His “Song For Gary”, which closes out the album, shows that Gary Moore was indeed an influence for Eric, which means it’s probably safe to assume that Eric emulates Moore by playing guitar and singing on his own records.  Lyrically, the new album covers a lot of ground; some songs reflect the difficult times in Eric’s life, others explore universal themes of love, fatherhood and loss. Some were penned many years ago, lying dormant as if waiting to be brought to life, some were written very recently. There’s even a cover of a rock ‘n’ roll standard. The songs themselves aren’t bad, but he needs a producer that can guide him away from the freeform vocal and guitar leads that are present on “Exile”. On the other hand, he’s Eric Bell, he’s a legend (I avoid using the word “Legend” a lot) and he can do the music he likes, and it doesn’t really matter what I think. Bell says: “This album reflects the music I like to play and listen to, so that’s what I’d say, I’m trying to cover the whole spectrum of music.”  That’s good enough for me.



1. Deep In Your Heart
2. Don’t Love Me No More
3. Gotta Say Bye Bye
4. Vote For Me
5. Exile
6. Little Boy Running
7. Rip It Up
8. Concrete Jungle
9. Thank God
10. Song For Gary


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