Invocation:  an incantation used to invoke a deity or the supernatural.

The rest of the review, in that context, almost writes itself. You can’t watch Troy Redfern play live without imagining that he’s possessed by something when he plays. He’s special, the boy, but even more, these days, he’s found a way of writing songs that match his talent.

To that end, this one kicks off with “The Strange”. Which, despite its title, isn’t. It’s the same classy, slide guitar-infused blues that Troy has been playing for years.

But he always grows with every release (and given that this is third in three years, he’s a lot to say), and he’s shown that with the strutting “Getaway” – one of the tasters they’ve already put out. Here though, listening to the album as a whole, it’s a vital part of the collection.

“Van Helsing” comes in with a hook that says “Everybody wants something to get them through this life” and you only have to listen to the solo that follows to find out what Redfern needs. It’s the music, right here.

“The Calling” slows the pace a touch, but it adds something that’s been in the more recent of Redfern’s work, an epic quality. This works on a huge soundscape.

But there’s still a raw quality to his work too. “Native” comes from that place, while if anything that that sounds like Billy Gibbons could sing it will always get bonus points around here, then “The Fever” – almost the centre point of the whole record – is not just a fantastic song because of that.

You can imagine a lot of these appearing in his new live shows. The way “All Night Long” lets its hair down and travels up the fast lane is surely made for those sweaty nights in packed club shows where Redfern so excels.

If massive ballads are your thing then “Blind Me” has things covered. The harmonies soar and if we probably haven’t given Redfern’s playing enough time in the spotlight here, then this one is the work of someone who masters his craft in the way that few do.

However, as if eager to keep the energy high, “Voodoo Priestess” roars back into view with a proper crunch.

Ever since I was a kid and fell in love with bands like The Quireboys (who Redfern has opened for) and Black Crowes, I’ve been enthralled when money makers have shaken to dirty slide guitar. No one does it better than the man right here on “Lose Control”.

“Last Stand” by its title alone evokes some gunfight in the desert with the cowboys and native americans all running for the hills, and there’s a bit of the gunslinger about Troy Redfern. And if he’s yet to see a million faces and rock them all (if we may paraphrase Bon Jovi) then he deserves to.

MV will admit that we’ve always preferred his band work (although the solo stuff is always primal fun) and this is another from the top draw. Whatever spirit was being summoned here, on “Invocation” Troy Redfern has channelled greatness.

Rating 9/10

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