Have Guitar, Will Travel

Have Guitar, Will Travel

Since the end of the ‘70s Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has issued his own music. He left Aerosmith to form the Joe Perry Project, a hard-rock ensemble with punk and funk attributes, whose I’ve Got the Rock ‘n’ Rolls Again, despite its unfortunate title remains a fine, underrated piece of pure rock power. Years later, in 2005, Perry put together a bluesy self-titled solo album. Aerosmith cancelled its 2009 tour obligations, leaving Perry with the extra downtime to spend in his home studio and fuss around. The result is Have Guitar, Will Travel, a most relaxed and refreshing look at Perry the guitarist and home recorder. Aerosmith albums have always been massive production undertakings, obscuring the contributions of even its main players, but here Perry is all over the place, performing with a looseness that highlights the Yardbirds influence in his playing (“Wooden Ships”) and even lets him sing without straining himself (“Slingshot’). The keyboard-led “Oh Lord (21 Grams)” is creepy and garage-rock-like, something more expected from an indie rocker than this hard-rock veteran.

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