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JEFF WATSON ‘Around The Sun’ (Frontiers 1998)

This is the latest solo CD from the Night Ranger guitarist. Half of the tracks feature Kansas vocalist Steve Walsh, with Aaron Hagar and Jeff himself taking lead vocals on the other tracks.

The album kicks off with ‘Glass Revenge’ a slow burning track, sung by Aaron Hagar with some crunching guitar at the chorus, a great start to the album. Steve Walsh makes his first appearance on ‘Life Goes On’, which is pure Kansas meets Night Ranger - great stuff! Highlight of the album has to be the ballad ‘Anna Waits’, with Steve Walsh again taking on the vocals and turning this into a classic song, with a very Kansas feel to it (it reminds me of Kansas’s ‘The Bells of St. James’).

The rocky ‘Tightrope’ is another killer track, tasty guitar and all out rock a la Night Ranger. Surprisingly there is only one instrumental, ‘Man’s Best Friend’ which features some great soloing from Jeff. Other standout tracks include ‘Ghost Town’ and the acoustically driven ‘Leslie Ann’.

Bottom line, if you like either Kansas or Night Ranger, then buy this CD and also if you enjoy quality melodic hard rock. Like fellow Night Ranger members Kelly Keagy and Brad Gillis’s solo efforts they are all well worth a listen.


Review by Jason Ritchie

10 Questions with...

Jeff Watson website

Buy this CD

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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