RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Billy Stokes – Muscle & Blood  

Rating: B

Who in the heck is Billy Stokes?  How did he get Frank Marino, Pat Travers, Les Dudek, Barry Sparks, and Marc Storace of the Swiss rock giant Krokus to make an album with him?  Seriously… for a name that is a true unknown in the international rock world, Billy put together a pretty fun album.

Pat Travers plays lead guitar on the songs “Firestorm” and “Money Slave” while Les Dudek plays lead guitar on “Down On Me” and “Fort Stockton Boogie.”  The amazing Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush plays lead guitar on “The Beast.”  Storace sings all 16 songs including the Robin Trower classic “Twice Removed From Yesterday.” 

Storace gives 16 killer performances and even shows off a much stronger vocal range on tunes like “The Beast” where he sings in a lower register than Krokus fans are used to.  He is a damn fine vocalist and he still trots out that trademark scream that has made him famous. 

Stokes is a rock guitarist/songwriter from Tucson, Arizona.  He went to So Cal and tried to make it but ended up in the military... the army to be exact.  He traded his guitar for a gun and found himself in Germany. 

In 1997, Billy was injured in the line of duty.  When he was released from the hospital he decided to pick up where he left off decades before and began writing the songs that appear on this album. 

The album is full of solid, classic and heavy riffs.  This is a more of a project concerning a man and his love of the music that he fell in love with than it is an artist reinventing the wheel. 

The songs are a bit predictable but they are one hundred percent genuine.  At times, they really kick ass.  “The Beast,” “One for the Road” and “The World Won’t Take Me Back” all have a sure-fire hard rock attitude about them.  The Robin Trower remake is really impressive.  I think Robin would enjoy checking this one out himself! 

The album rocks hard and is very legit.  Billy is obviously both a rocker and a warrior.  This music is in his heart and soul. 

Check out the video below, and if you like what you hear please go to www.billystokesband.com  and pick up a copy of this one… then crank it up and enjoy! 

One for the Road
Mojo Filter
American Dream
Money Slave
The World Wont Take me Back
Ft. Stockton Boogie
Road Song
Amsterdam Dream
Isle of Man
Light Up the Night
Rock Fever
The Beast
Twice Removed from Yesterday

By Jeb ”Salute to Billy” Wright