July 22, 2023

We now come to album number two from the rather special duo that is Janet Gardner and Justin James, two musicians of the highest calibre and both with a knack for producing delicious blues infused rock music.

Gardener made her reputation as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist with the American all-female glam rock band Vixen at its peak in the 1980s and still around today although she did finally leave the band in 2019. She is married to Justin James and they previously worked together on her two previous solo albums so it made obvious sense to combine their talents and thus Gardner/James was born with Synergy being their cleverly titled 2020 debut. Justin James is another of those essential musicians who ensures that the wheels of the music business keep turning and he has brought his prodigious talents as a guitarist, songwriter and producer to several bands and made them all musically richer as a result. Both are excellent musicians and have played all the music on the album too with Gardner’s dusky, smoky vocals being the real highlight as she injects total passion and commitment into the music with great guitar throughout and quite possible some of the best acoustic work you will ever hear. T

Gardner/James play blues rock in a style similar to Joe Bonamassa and a times are even Zepellin-esque which is perfectly shown on the thrilling opening track I’m Living Free which starts you off on an exciting 50-minutes blues rock extravaganza that you will want to keep repeating.

No Strings

  1. I’m Living Free (3:57)
  2. Turn The Page (4:14)
  3. 85 (4:02)
  4. No Strings (3:54),
  5. Don’t Turn Me Away (4:35)
  6. Set Me Free (4:36)
  7. Hold On To You (4:56)
  8. Into The Night (3:38)
  9. I’m Not Sorry (4:41)
  10. You’ll See (4:06)
  11. She Floats Away (3:45)
  12. Drink (3:34)