(5 / 5)
Six-disc box set of former guitarist for Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters and many more….
The guitar man for all seasons Snowy White – covering an 11 year period of his career from ‘83 to ‘94.
Guests featured are Gary Moore, Chris Rea and David Gilmour, but these 75 tracks across half a dozen CDs, do not require bolstering with superstar features, as Mr White is quite capable of carrying the set with his own two gloriously-gifted hands.
On top of the original album tracks, we get a treat with 18 bonus cuts drawn from rare singles and unreleased sessions.
The tracks are newly remastered and come in a clamshell case, with an illustrated booklet which features an interview with Snowy, aka Terence Charles White, which is billed as “exclusive”.
The albums here, which came out in that period, are “White Flames”, “Snowy White”, “That Certain Thing”, “Change My Life”, “Open For Business” and “Highway To The Sun”.
Two titles were recorded and released as Snowy White’s Blues Agency, which appear here as CDs # four and five. “Change My Life” and “Open For Business”.
Now this may look like a bizarre claim in a review, but I can honestly say that I was responsible for the title of Snowy’s album “Open For Business”.
In a previous life, working in the music business as a manager, producer, gig and tour promoter, publicist, photographer and a few other hats I wore, I got to work with Snowy and his Blues Agency band.
One day, in a convoy of cars going from his drummer Jeff’s place in London to a recording studio in Surrey (Jacob’s) to meet up with bassist Kuma Harada, I led the vehicles into a lay-by and told Snowy: “I have got it”.
Before we left London, there had been a discussion about the imminent album’s title and Snowy favoured “Blues On Me”, the name of one of the tracks they had ready for the record. It didn’t do it for me, so Snowy said, OK, well come up with a better idea then. So on that drive, I did!
Telling Snowy: “Picture the album cover image: A shop front with ‘The Blues Agency’ on the sign, and on the door it says ‘Open For Business’. Maybe with your guitar in the window or you and guitar”. He was sold. So, the album was released as “Open For Business”.
But some years later, I was in Norway on tour with another artist and in a record store I came across the same Snowy White album, but with the title, “Blues On Me” – the label changing the title for European release.
I count Snowy as an old friend, but we have lost touch in recent years. I heard he had to stop touring with Roger Waters and with his own band, because of a niggling arm injury. I did see that in February 2015, he sold his beloved and iconic 1957 Goldtop Gibson Les Paul guitar for $93,750 at auction in the USA.
I last heard he had moved overseas, but I really hope we can reconnect and catch up. It has been far too long…
I first met Snowy backstage at a Thin Lizzy concert on their “Chinatown” (his first album with that band) tour on 11th June 1980. A tour postponed from May that year. I even recall his sister was in to see him perform for that show. Lovely humble guy and a monster player. Fame and success has never seemed to change him across the years.
So, back to this superb box set……….
His smash hit 1984 solo single “Bird Of Paradise” is found on the first CD here, at track two on his “White Flames” debut solo album from 1983. 1994’s “Highway To The Sun”, found here as CD # six, wheels out his pals Gilmour, Rea and the late Gary Moore.
With many of Snowy’s albums out of print for some years, this bumper set is a great tribute to one of the best guitarists the UK has ever produced, and will be warmly welcomed by his fans – and by those who are discovering for the first time just how gorgeous his tone and playing skills are. But not to forget his deft hand as a songwriter too.
Blues fans should fill their boots with the two Blues Agency albums here. They really are special. Snowy preferring to focus purely on guitar for that project, bringing in Graham Bell as singer and harmonica player, along with Jeff Allen on drums and long term collaborator Kuma Harada on bass.
I am told Snowy is still recording, but not touring. He had a new album out last year (2019) called “The Situation” with his White Flames band.
- All you young blues guitar players whose homework starts and ends with Joe Bonamassa, Mr Clapton and Gary Moore, please go pick up this set – and then brace yourselves…..
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’