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Release Info: The Nick Gravenites, John Cipollina Band - Monkey Medicine
Known by various names in their time, including Nickelsilver and Thunder & Lightning, this is the only official recorded legacy of a band who served as a sporadic medium for Cipollina's talents throughout the Eighties, until his untimely death in the last year of that decade. However, they were primarily a blues rock band and anybody hoping for a West Coast classic is going to be disappointed. Having said that, some concessions are made to his former acid excess. A cover of the Quicksilver classic 'Pride Of Man' so slavishly adheres to the original as to be redundant, but 'Bad Luck Baby' brims over with that unique, quavering guitar. Ironically, the lead on the album's most psychedelic effort, the instrumental 'Small Walk-In Box,' is performed in the majority by Nick Gravenites, although it is none the less interesting for that. Gravenites also possesses an exemplary voice for white blues, but whilst it is satisfying in small measures, the surfeit of twelve-bars throughout the album would all fade into one were it not for Cipollina's soloing. Ultimately, Cipollina's latter day legacy is best displayed on other releases (Terry & the Pirates, for example) but this album will doubtless yield pleasure to all those for whom he remains amongst the most innovative of guitarists.
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