Hensley, Ken & Free Spirit - Running Blind

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Record Heaven
Catalog Number: RHCD62
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:58:00

As a teenager I sat in my bedroom and listened to albums on my turntable like Uriah Heep Live. That was one of my favorite albums. Ken Hensley's name is synonymous with that group. What many people may not know is that he started as a guitar player and gradually got into the keyboards out of necessity due to the situations of early bands he was involved in. To make a long story short, he became on of the greatest rock keyboard players of all-time with his contributions to music over the years and he was one of the few that set a standard for rock keyboard players.

Hensley is back in 2002 with spanking new group named Free Spirit and an exciting album called Running Blind. The show begins with an instrumental called "Overture: "La Tristeza Secreta De UnCorazon Gitano" (Pt. 1)." It doesn't set the tone for entire recording as some opening tracks do; in fact, he is far removed from that kind of song once it's done. For the most part Hensley and his group let their hair down and cut loose with some energetic rock and roll that could be compared to later versions of UH (80s).

"The Final Solution" is vintage Hensley with the driving and pulsating introductory rock organ setting up the electric guitar and bass to come jumping in to prompt the lyrics. His voice is solid, and it did remind me of the old days when he was with UH. It gave me fond memories of the late David Bryon who fronted the group for so many years. To take things in a surprisingly different direction, "Finney's Tale" has an acoustic country tang to it with a nice catchy rhythm. There is also a generous helping of bonus tracks on this CD, a total of four. This is a very diverse approach for a rock keyboardist, and one that I am sure he relishes. It's all a credit to his talent and wherewithal over the years to be a mainstay in music regardless of the changing tides in taste and technology. John Wetton, who also had a stint with UH, is the guest bass player on "You've Got It (The American Dream)." Original UH bass player David Karns is also present on several tracks. Notable is Hensley's guitar playing to add to his list of talents, he is quite good considering it's no longer his main instrument and it hasn't been for over two decades.

This release is a triumphant return to music for Ken Hensley. His fan base will be delighted to know that he has produced yet another excellent album for them to enjoy. It's nice to have you back Ken.

Also released by Mystic Records (MYS CD 153)

Overture: "La Tristeza Secreta De UnCorazon Gitano" (Pt. 1) (2:29) / Prelude: A Minor Life (2:54) / Out Of Control (5:01) / You've Got It (The American Dream) (3:30) / The Final Solution (3:35) / It's Up To You* (5:04) / Finney's Tale (3:01) / I Close My Eyes (4:53) / A Little Piece Of Me (Julia's Song) (3:09) / Free Spirit* (3:41) / Movin' In* (4:03) / Let Me Be Me (2:50) / I Don't Wanna Wait* (5:17) / Tell Me (4:24)

* Bonus Tracks

Ken Hensley - acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, dobro, vocals
Mike Johnson - drums
Steve Christy - drums (3, 4, 14)
Dave Wagstaffe - drums (13)
David Karns - bass
Andy Pyle - bass (10, 13, 14) John Wetton - bass (3, 4)
Dave Kilminster - acoustic and electric guitars
String Arrangements - Steve Schenkel
Rebecca Boyer, Amy Ohsira, Lorraine Glass-Harris - first violins
Julie Leonhardt, John McGrosso, Nicolas Bica - second violins
Arthur Dibble, Lynn Hague - viola
Beverly Field - cello

(solo only)
Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf (1973)
Eager To Please (1975)
Free Spirit (1980)
The Best Of Ken Hensley (1990)
From Time To Time (1994)
A Glimpse Of Glory (1999)
Ken Hensley Anthology (2000)
Running Blind (2001)

More Than Conquerors w/John Wetton (DVD) (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: March 9th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.ken-hensley.com
Hits: 559
Language: english


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