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Joe Bouchard - Strange Legends

Strange Legends is the 6th solo album from Joe Bouchard, solo guitarist, vocalist and founding member of Blue Oyster Cult.  Although he has worked with many high profile producers throughout his career, Joe decided to produce this album himself.  While Joe plays most of the instruments on this collection of songs, he has enlisted the help of Mickey Curry on drums.  Mickey collaborated on many albums with Bryan Adams, but has also worked with Alice Cooper, The Cult and, at the beginning of his career, with Daryl Hall & John Oates.
  
The first track on Strange Legends is “The African Queen,” whose lyrics are based on the 1951 movie of the same name.  The lyrics paint a picture of an adventure on a river, with a reference to Humphrey Bogart, who starred in the film, along with Katharine Hepburn.  A video for this song was released on July 31st, 2020, the same day that the album was released.  I was hooked on this song from the opening guitar lick.
Next up on this album is the first single, “Forget About Love,” that was released in advance of the album. This is one of two songs penned by John Elwood Cook, songwriter and lifelong friend of Joe and his brother Albert (former drummer of Blue Oyster Cult).  This is the second solo album from Joe that has included this song, but this time he gave it a little bit of updating, and the extra attention that he felt it deserved.  After “Forget About Love” is “Walk Of Fame,” a song with killer harmony vocals, driving drums and guitars, and unforgettable melodic hooks.  “Hit And Run” is the second track on Strange Legends that was written by John Elwood Cook.  One of the highlights on this track is Joe’s extended guitar solo.

Joe Bouchard makes it a point to include an instrumental track on each of his solo albums.  On Strange Legends, the instrumental is “Racin’ Through The Desert.”  This is the song where Joe really lets his lead guitar artistry shine, after a career of bass playing while in Blue Oyster Cult.  If you listen carefully, you’ll hear Joe echoing some of the guitar track on Flugelhorn. This is just one of the many instruments Joe learned to play while pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, and before submerging himself in the world of Rock & Roll. 

Other solid tracks on Strange Legends include “All The Day & All Of The Night” which was originally written and recorded by The Kinks, as well as “She’s A Legend,” whose lyrics were written by sci-fi writer John Shirley.  John has also written lyrics for Blue Oyster Cult in the past.  This song is about a female serial killer, whose final victim falls for her, and is allowed to live to tell his tale after they share an experience based on lust and love.  It’s a very captivating song, both lyrically and based on the mysterious mood the melody creates.  Another gem, “Strangely In Love,” takes the listener on a relaxing melodic journey that is in complete contrast to the previous songs on the album.

As we are in an age where music listeners have so many choices at their fingertips by means of the internet, Strange Legends needs to be shared with anyone who appreciates a good melody, classic guitar riffs and solid production.  After traveling through the album from start to finish, it leaves the listener with a desire to go back and listen again and again. 

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The Journey Of A (Not So) Strange Legend:
The Joe Bouchard Interview


In this video interview with Dr. Music associate Kevin Mikol from August 10th, 2020, Joe talks in great detail about his current album, Strange Legends, detailing how the songs came together lyrically and instrumentally, and shares some of the production techniques he used when creating the album.  Joe also talks with great affection about his career with Blue Oyster Cult, sharing stories about the many experiences they had while traveling the world and playing their music.  You will hear the reasons why he eventually left the band, and you'll hear him talk about crossing several genres with some surprising projects he’s worked on since departing.

Sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and spend some time with rock and roll legend, Joe Bouchard!





 

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