Dennis Churchill Dries – I – AOR Heaven – Release: Out now.
When I heard “Don’t Say That You’re Mine” from White Sister on the radio for the first time it blew my mind. That debut album from ’84 is still one of all–time favourite melodic rock albums. After the follow-up “Fashion By Passion” the band faded away. In 1991 they resurrected as Tattoo Rodeo and released two albums that I also liked. The sound was a bit more southern. After a long silence ¾ of the original White Sister line-up reunited in 2008 to appear on the legendary Firefest. Plans were made to make a new album. But in October 2012 the unthinkable happened and Rick Chaddock lost his battle with cancer. Dennis was crushed by the loss of his music partner and closest friend for 35 years. New music from White Sister was not to be!
Dennis began writing on his own as a form of therapy and in 2014 was reunited with Paul Sabu. Paul produced, engineered and mixed this album “I” and supplied guitar work.
Some tracks rock like “Heard It On The Radio” and “Unbroken” and others don’t. If you expect to hear the sound from White Sister you won’t be fully satisfied.
But people, let me just point out that Mr. Dries wrote a bunch of songs from his heart. The song are simply beautiful and will get stuck in your head. The backing vocals from Paul Sabu give it a bit of a White Sister feel.
On the debut album I preferred the voice from Dennis above the one from Garri Brandon. The voice from Dennis has stood the test of time and it has a slightly raw edge. Just listen to the intro of the title track.
Also very present on this album is the acoustic guitar and the piano. The acoustic guitar rules on “Home” and his electric brother is master of the game on the earlier mentioned “Unbroken”. The piano shines on the softer, but heavenly “Song For The Living”.
The bass from Dennis stands on the first row during the sweet “Pictures”. Lovely vocal melodies can be heard on the romantic “Pieces”, together with some vibrant piano and keys. “She Loves You” is again more up-beat and lets us hear a great combo of guitar and piano. And I just can’t stop singing along with the chorus from “So Good To See You”. The ultimate feel-good song!
As a bonus you get an acoustic version of “Home” which ends this fine slice of pure music.
I have had this album for several weeks now and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s very addictive and it always relaxes me in a major way.
Score: 4,25 out of 5
Text by Rik Bauters