by Joe Boris

Track listing: DISC 1: 01. Ain't Easy, 02. Kick Away The Blues, 03. Shotgun Mamma, 04. What You Find, 05. Firing Line, 06. Oklahoma, 07. Wake Up, 08. Bill Dawson, 09. On My Back, 10. Time On The Run, 11. Hard To Find The Time, 12. Copperhead Well, 13. Set Me Free, 14. It's Time, 15. Pride In Your Pain, 16. Trials & Tribulation, 17. Blue-Eyed Willow; DISC 2: 01. High As Heaven, 02. Change of Season, 03. Hoochie Coochie, 04. Year Of The Locust, 05. The Waltz, 06. Cilantro, 07. Move On, 08. This, Too, Shall Pass, 09. Jolene, 10. Damn Temptation, 11. Disarrayed, 12. Salinas, 13. The Road

Joe Boris Releases a Comprehensive 'Anthology' of His Works from the 90s through Present Day

Anthology is one helluva album. Songwriter/Guitarist Joe Boris has assembled this 2-Disc collection of his recordings covering the past 3 or so decades, and it's a formidable beast of musicianship. Mentioned in the book Jambands: The Complete Guide to the Players, Music & Scene by Dean Budnick, Joe Boris cut his teeth in the legendary New Jersey music scene. What he's got with Anthology is the fruit of his labor, certainly a labor of love.

Stylistically, Anthology displays all Boris has got. A number of tracks feature blistering guitar work that drops all sorts of influences. With songs like "Ain't Easy" and "Bill Dawson" it's clear as day that there's an Allman Brothers inspiration in the tone and harmonies. But it's not just a head-nod to the legends. The execution is stellar. Boris has had some killer lineups over the years.

Another strong presences on the album is a revisiting of a funky Southern Rock groove similar to what Stevie Ray Vaughn often riffed on. "Kick Away the Blues" is a solid example of this vibe, the type that brings a crowd to their feet, dancing and lifting their drinks in admiration of the moment.

Then there's the Asbury Park influence. "Hard to Find the Time" brings in the Hammond B3 real thick and luscious. You can feel the E Street and Southside Johnny presence in the room.

Anthology leans harder at times, with the edgy "Copperhead Well," and sits back with more reflective moments like "Trials & Tribulations" drifting through its changes. Throw on "Trials & Tribulations" now and close your eyes. You can clearly envision sitting in an open-air venue with 12-minute version of this song, rich in its vocal harmony, drawn-out Santana-esque guitar solos, and gorgeous piano interludes. The light breeze drawing strains of all sorts of friendly fragrances filling the air. 

Opening Disc 2 is "High as Heaven," an intense ballad blend of some Skynyrd influence featuring another scorching guitar solo that could be dropped seamlessly into Carlos Santana Live. It's not hard to believe that he's played on some pretty high profile bills over the years--according to he's shared bills with the likes of Bob Weir & Ratdog, Warren Haynes, Mickey Hart, Hot Tuna, Dickey Betts and Great Southern, MOE, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Dark Star Orchestra, Ekoostik Hookah, Strangefolk, Devon Allman and many others. Boris would be the early band that has the crowd going nuts well before the headliner takes the stage. 

Late on Disc 2 you run into the string of live tracks: "Jolene," "Damn Temptation," "Disarrayed" and "Salinas" place you in the audience of these shows. Again, take a listen and you're basically transported into the crowd watching Joe and the band do their thing. Impressive as hell, really.

Joe talked a bit on his YouTube channel about his inspiration for some of the songs comprising his Anthology. It's certainly worth your time to stream and even well worth a purchase to help support an artist who's been right there for years alongside some of our all time faves.

Posted on 7/17/23