ARTIST: DUFF MCKAGAN
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 20TH 2023
LABEL: SONY / BFD / ORCHARD
REVIEWER: ANDREW TREADWELL
When you are a member of Guns N Roses, people pretty much have preconceived notions of who you are and what you do. That kind of stereotype might work for others but not for Duff McKagan. While his roots are firmly entrenched in Punk Rock, McKagan shows why he is no one trick pony on his latest release “Lighthouse”
Duff has been more productive of late, with his Tenderness in 2019 and now Lighthouse in 2023. His first release was all the way back in 1993 with Believe In Me, the fans are loving having these two releases relatively close together.
“Shine on me, my lighthouse, make me right and bring me home” sings Duff in the opener and title track. With such a wide variety of styles on this album, I would love to ask Duff, where in 2023, he sees his home, musically, as we know personally its his wife and kids which what this song is about, along with a few more on the album
“Just Another Shake Down” is full of the punk rock goodness Duff brought with him to GNR, its quick and punchy, with no let up in site, as well as “I Saw God On 10th St.” which has the roots of punk, but also some folkish Tom Petty for good measure.
“Longfeather” is a great simple rocker, which is by no means a negative, I love the fact Duff keeps these songs basic and lets the melody and lyrics tell a great story. The same goes for “Fallen Down” where you have the Hammond organ intertwined in the background.
Alice In Chains Jerry Cantrell guests on “I Just Don’t Know”, an amazingly gentle and reflective song, Duff shows what a great singer he is on this one, and its amazing to see it spotlighted on such an beautiful song. “Hope” is guested by the familiar guitar tone of GNR band mate Slash, this one is an epic, cinematic track which would come across great with a video treatment.
The final guest on the album is the one and only Iggy Pop, who’s spoken word reprise of Lighthouse, is haunting, deep and an epic close to the album.
Duff shows why he is a lynchpin member of every band he has been in, his talent is undeniable, and Lighthouse is another display of classic songs from a well deserved Rock N Roll Hall Of Famer. Everyone should give it a listen.