Aerosmith guitar legend Joe Perry returns with his fifth solo release (and first since 2005's Joe Perry) with Have Guitar, Will Travel, which offers nine original tracks (plus one cover song) of mostly guitar-smoldering rock that takes its' roots from Aerosmith per-say, but also infuses a variety of textures that are "all Joe."
Produced by Perry and recorded in just 47 days from his Boston home studio dubbed The Boneyard, Joe and friends recorded around the clock within a live band setting in order to capture a loose energy that bleeds from your speakers like a guitar-puffing freight train rattling through your living room.
The opening "We've Got A Long Way To Go" is a rock radio friendly anthem that introduces a new vocalist brought into the fold known simply as Hagen, a German club singer that Perry's wife Billie happened to stumble across on Youtube, who certainly has the vocal range and can certainly reach the high register.
Hagen also sings lead on two other tracks, including the ballad "Do You Wonder" (lyrics penned by Billie) and "Scare The Cat,"another up tempo rocker.
Perry takes over the lead vocals on the rest of the tracks, including a rollocking barroom cover of an old Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac song called "Somebody's Gonna Get (Their Head kicked In Tonight)", which really shows that Joe and his band are having fun.
"Heaven And Hell" is another down and dirty rocker complete with a Perry-distorted guitar intro and solo that blows the roof off the house.
"No Surprise" is a heavy, slinky song in which Joe pulls out his patented guitar talk-box gadget, which he's made famous in Aerosmith's live set over the years during "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion."
The lone instrumental track (and what this reviewer was really waiting for) is called "Wooden Ships", which Perry dedicates to the late guitar legend Les Paul and simply pulls out all the stops and chops, shredding his way through multiple solos as bassist extraodinaire David Hull chugs along underneath the chaos.
"Oh Lord (21 Grams)" is inspired from Perry's youthful, drug-induced past, demons which he fortunately left behind long ago.
"Freedom" closes out the set, complete with up-tempo rhythms and another blistering guitar solo in which Perry shows that despite all the rock and roll miles he's logged over the years, he can still generate fresh ideas and an energy that is infectious to his hard-core fans.
Guest appearances come from the aforementioned bass player Hull, who worked with Perry during his original Joe Perry Project days of the early 1980's and Beantown's own Willie "Loco" Alexander.
Joe Perry proves once again that all he wants to do is have fun and let the music do the talking.