Way back in 1990 I was still in the throes of the "hair metal" era. I was only a few years along my path of musical discovery and years away from any true progression. Grunge was still a few years off and I had a rather narrow view of what I liked in music. Rap? Forget it. Metal? Too heavy. Country? What a joke. That left me at the doorstep of bands like Def Leppard, Poison, Warrant, Skid Row, and Winger (yes, you read that right). No, there is nothing wrong with liking them and I am not here to defend my stance. What this is leading to is my first exposure to a guitarist names Bill Leverty. I first encountered him with a catchy hair metal riff in a song called "Don't Treat Me Bad" as a member of the band Firehouse.
That song got under my skin, and while I cannot say it is a great song (I am sure event he band would agree), but it is one I liked enough to buy the cassingle of (remember those?). I would play it ad nauseum for a day or two before giving it a rest. The guitar riff was infectious, the solo was solid, and the nasal, slightly whiny vocals of CJ Snare offered something different from the other bands out there. As much as I enjoyed their self-titled debut album, I quickly forgot about them and many other bands of the era as the grunge era stepped in followed by my taste expansion that has gone out in all directions over the past decade or so.
With all that said, it came as a surprise when I saw this new release from Firehouse's guitarist Bill Leverty. It is a solo album that shows a distinctly different side. The music is not of the big arena rock variety, nor is it the shredding solo release that some players are want to do to show they are more than they may seem to be in the band. Well, that last bit is partially accurate for Deep South. It is most definitely not a shredder album, you will have to look elsewhere for that; however, this album, that strikes me as a deeply personal one, is one that shows a different side of the Firehouse axe-man and definitely shows a different side of his skills and ability. Much like it took me more than a decade into my music listening life to truly find what music I loved, it has taken nearly two decades for Bill Leverty to record an album that shows him outside of Firehouse.