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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Slowdown'
Artist - Alex Lopez

For those not in the know, Alex Lopez was born in Cleveland Ohio, the heartland of Rock 'n' Roll. He learnt how to play guitar as a teen developing a style influenced by guitar greats Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Elmore James, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, BB King, and, of course, Stevie Ray Vaughan.

While playing in local bands, Alex spent his youth recording in studios while polishing his production and songwriting skills. Later moving to Florida to attend college, Alex continued performing in bands having modest success with his songs making their way to local and college radio.

After a break from his music career to raise a family, Alex joined the popular rock band Reminiscion performing at venues through-out the Tampa Bay area before deciding to strike out on his own. As a prolific songwriter Alex has recorded a voluminous amount of original material culminating in his first three albums. With his band The Xpress, Alex is now playing major venues and festivals across the southeastern United States.

Now the blues rock guitarist and his band The Xpress have just released their their eagerly awaited, and aforementioned third album entitled Slowdown on MarEmil Records this past May 19th! A powerful modern blues album that seamlessly fuses rock and blues and combines it with an unstoppable groove, it is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the freshest blues albums I've had the pleasure to review in the past decade.

1. 'Dangerous'
2. 'The Wildlife'
3. 'Slowdown'
4. 'Words of Wisdom'
5. 'Enough of it'
6. 'I don't know'
7. 'Exodus/Long Long Time'
8. 'Stolen'
9. 'Redeem Me'
10. 'I love you blues'
11. 'Alive'
12. 'Slowdown (Reprise)'
13. 'Dance the Night with Me'
14. 'War without a Face'

We begin this beguiling musical experience with the upbeat blues guitar rock of 'Dangerous', which he backs up perfectly with both the addictive fun pop piano bounce of 'The Wildlife' and then the title track, the mid tempo blues funk of 'Slowdown.' The free flowing, gentle Whitesnake-esque 'Words of Wisdom' is next and that's followed by the hipsway of 'Enough Of It' and then the storytelling of 'I Don't Know.'

Lopez's stunning guitar work is truly brought to the fore on 'Exodus / Long Long Time' and showcases just how far this guitarist has come; honing his craft, his art every moment he could along the way. The soaring, Snowy White-esque 'Stolen' is next and that's backed by 'Redeem Me' and the slow, reflective ballad 'I Love You Blues.'

As Lopez himself explains, "Slowdown tells a story about a person who travels down a path that leads to addiction and their struggle to find a way back home. Each song is a chapter in this saga and the album takes you from innocent beginnings to heartbreaking despair and eventually to redemption and salvation."

With half the songs taken from his own back catalogue of previously-written tracks, the rest written especially for the album; and inspired by the concept and the message, the uplifting 'Alive' is next and is easily one of my own personal favorites. It really allows Lopez to test out his vocal lengths and breadths exquisitely and that's followed by the album closer 'Slowdown (Reprise).'

Well, not so much of a closer, but a bridge to the two bonus songs, both the piano ballad 'Dance the Night with Me' and the mid-tempo anti-war song 'War Without a Face' means that this breathtakingly sincere, highly emotive new album comes to the most perfect of musical and lyrical ends.

Alex Lopez @ Facebook!

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