Single Review: Bernie Marsden - Black Cat Moan
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
It was only last November when I was able to review ‘Chess’, the second in Bernie Marsden’s inspiration series. It was a fine album, full of artists who resided on the Chess label and contained covers of such luminaries as Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters & Elmore James.
Far from sitting back and basking in the glory, Bernie has forged ahead, and we will soon be able to pick up a copy of ‘TRIOS’, the third release which should be another fantastic album, with tributes to some of the greatest power trios in history. One can only wonder about who will be featured, but immediately the likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Rory Gallagher, Budgie, ZZ Top and perhaps even Rush come to mind. I think Motörhead might be pushing it, but one can dream! I’m sure you’ll find many more to add to the list and hopefully there will be a few surprises too.
As an introduction to ‘TRIOS’, Bernie has pulled out a new single, a cover of ‘Black Cat Moan’, a track first written by Don Nix but most recognisable for the version by the trio of Beck, Boggart, Appice. I had to look up the version by BBA, and it’s a very different sound to the smooth tones that Bernie has crafted on his cover. Whereas BBA’s rendering is rough and raw, Bernie’s dulcet vocals and his laid-back guitar work are highlights on a song that has you wishing you were driving along the highway with the top down. Bernie’s guitar work has been a favourite of mine ever since those early Whitesnake days and he’s continued to deliver on each release.
This is a song you can put on loop and enjoy repeatedly. As Joe Bonamassa said, “Underestimate Bernie Marsden at your peril, because as a singer, he'll kick your ass; as a player, he'll kick your ass; and as a songwriter, he'll definitely kick your ass!” As a taster for the next full release, you couldn’t ask for better.