German Siggi Schwarz is another of those tremendous guitarists who, upon first hearing his name, most people answer with a simple, who? However, Schwarz is an indispensable guitarist and has worked over the years, either in the studio or on stage, with some greats in Michael Schenker (ex-Scorpions/UFO), Steve Lukather (Toto), Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake), Geoff Whitehorn (Roger Chapman/Procol Harum), Leslie West (Mountain) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top).
Schwarz has now amassed a total of eleven cracking rock albums and has worked extensively with Michael Schenker as well as producing a couple of his albums being In The Midst Of Beauty and Tales Of Rock N’ Roll. Anyone expecting a typical Germanic metal guitar fest (and I was one) will be surprised by the fifteen hard but melodic rock songs on this album as this is an album that screams Americana. Much of this is down to the New York singer and US Army Veteran, Dave Schaefer, who must have been introduced to Schwarz when stationed in Germany and his Native American roots (he is Cherokee, how cool is that?) are perfectly expressed on the opening track which starts almost with tribal chants before kicking into straight forward rock and roll.
The album was recorded live in the studio with Schwarz and Schaeffer being joined by bassist Benni Jud and drummer Bene Neuner and the fact that they were live takes gives the music a real vibe and groove. This is uncomplicated rock delivered without any trickery and shows four great musicians performing a set of very commercial and highly entertaining rock songs. All of the tracks are joint-written by Schwarz and Schaefer and they certainly know a thing or two about what makes a commercially viable song. The whole feel of the album is American rock and calls to mind Eddie Money, Bob Seger and John Cougar Mellencamp so you know you are going to enjoy some good time rock and roll.
The talents of Siggi Schwarz as a guitarist are unquestionable but his position as a guitarist in a band is almost perfection as he supplies everything that is needed without ever over stepping the mark and he allows those around him to flourish. The vocal talents of Dave Schaefer are amazing and it is he that brings the album alive with his oh so American voice and the pairing of the two of them is delightful. Great for when you are out driving in the car and if played at a party (if we ever get to have those again) then this is one of those quite rare albums that everyone will enjoy be they fans of Abba or Marilyn Manson and, I’m certain, that everyone will want to know who the band is and that is a rare talent and fine testimony indeed.
The Fire Inside track list
- Spend The Night With Me (4:22)
- Activated (2:54)
- Badass (3:58)
- Give It To Me (3:35)
- Lockdown Love (3:52)
- Cheap Love (2:44)
- Daydreamer (3:35)
- Get Together (4:17)
- Rockin’ Through The Night (3:30)
- Burning Out (3:40)
- Love Is A Wave (3:35)
- BBoogie (3:03)
- Simple Life (5:46)
- You Know Better (4:22)
- Super Hyperactive Boy (CD Bonus Track) (2:51)