DOOGIE WHITE & LA PAZ – Granite (2012)

DOOGIE WHITE & LA PAZ - Granite (2012) zerodayrock


LA PAZ was formed in Scotland in the summer of 1984 by guitarist Chic McSherry, vocalist Doogie White and bass player Alex Carmichael. All three had been playing in the local music scene for some years and when the time was ripe to finally work together, they hit it off immediately.

The guys listened to the same music and shared an admiration for bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow. Soon they wanted to do some gigs and therefore they recruited keyboard player Andy Mason. Finding the right drummer took some serious doing, but in the end they stumbled upon Paul McManus.

The band played live regularly, sometimes reaching the total number of 100 gigs a year. Of course that caught the attention from a number of UK and US record companies and a three album deal was signed with one of them.

But, for reasons that were never explained, the deal fell through at the very last minute. A hard blow for the band that had been plodding along for about five to six years. La Paz played their last gig on October 15, 1988 and Doogie White moved on to Midnight Blue, followed by Rainbow, Cornerstone, Yngwie Malmsteen and (now) Tank.

A Rock Radio DJ called Doogie to ask him if he would do an acoustic set at The Garage in Glasgow for Rock Radio’s Birthday Bash in January 2008. Doogie agreed and asked Chic to join in on flamenco guitar.

That was so much fun for both that it was decided to give the band another go for Chic’s 50th birthday. Rehearsals started and the chemistry was there from the very first minute. Three gigs followed and were a terrific success.

No wonder the guys wanted to re-record some of the classics from the set and give them a proper production.

Recordings started early last year and culminated in the “Granite” album, the first official album from La Paz after 28 years.

Among the 9 tracks on offer are six of the band’s live favourites from the ’80s and three brand-new songs, but you can’t hear any difference between them; this is Classic Hard Rock at its finest.

Album opener “Too Good To Lose” busts to life with a flurry of atmospherics before settling in to a hook laden, damned catchy, chunk of classic rock. Reminiscent of White’s Rainbow roots with a little Brit AOR rock thrown in for good measure the track fairly romps along and wouldn’t be out of place on any number of American road trip movie soundtrack.

“This Boy” sounds more like Foreigner than Foreigner do these days – not the crumpled old revivalist version, but the platinum coated version which gave us ‘Feels Like The First Time.’ Another feel-good, radio friendly, chorus will have you singing along in no time, if you can put your air guitar down long enough as guitarist, Chic McSherry fires out lick after slick lick. I dare you not to tap your feet.

“Lesson In Love” talks much tougher with its opening guitar bombast and chunky chord progression. White dons the cloak of Dio and it fits like a glove as he soars and swoops over the music like our dearly departed Lord of Metal.

The tear soaked ballad “Amy” threatens to bring the party to a grinding halt and seems to veer off into a cul-de-sac with it’s slightly ponderous melody, however it provides only a brief respite as “Just for Today” lifts the mood again with McSherry’s deft fretwork and a rollicking chorus.

“What Do You Say” continues the momentum and gives White a platform to show off his formidable vocal range and “Still in Love” is as good as anything produced by AOR masters FM before “Young and Restless” bears it’s teeth and ups the tempo showing La Paz have a grittier side as well.

“Shame the Devil” brings the album to a close, with La Paz perhaps saving the best for last. As crickets shrill and thunder rolls over beautifully picked Spanish guitar we are transported into the highlands of the Andes. The eerie chants of hooded monks and the lonesome calls of unseen birds are shattered as White once again enters the world of Dio. The song builds into a seething shred fest and the album truly hits its peak during the finale.

La Paz may not have hit the jackpot in the eighties, but today they’ve built an album on solid foundations of “Granite”.

With a quality songwriting rooted in the eighties but the dynamics of playing and production of the present, La Paz pack a mighty punch to back up Doogie White’s soaring Classic Rock voice.

When you listen the enthusiasm and professionalism delivered on “Granite”, you will agree that this is an album that was worth being released.


01 – Too good too loose

02 – This boy

03 – Lesson in love

04 – Amy

05 – Just for today

06 – What do you say

07 – Still in love

08 – Young and restless

09 – Shame the Devil

Doogie White – Vocals

Chic McSherry – Guitars

Andy Mason – Keyboards

Alex Carmichael – Bass

Paul McManus – Drums


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