Sterling Ball, John Ferraro and Jim Cox – The mutual admiration society

Sterling Ball, John Ferraro and Jim Cox

Reviewed by:
On 12 February 2018
Last modified:12 February 2018


Instrumental cover versions - well played, but ultimately boring

This album is billed as Sterling Ball, John Ferraro and Jim Cox present the mutual admiration society. It features a host of guests including Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Steve Lukathor, Steve Morse and Albert Lee. That’s a great talented lineup, and it all started from two friends wanting to make a record together.

What they’ve done is taken a load of old songs and recorded instrumental cover versions of them. As you’d expect from the musicians involved, the quality of playing is superb, and they’ve done a very good job of covering the songs, but sadly without vocals. I’d have been more impressed if they’d at least written their own material for the album rather than doing covers.

It’s a long time since an album has disappointed me this much – it’s got so many talented musicians involved that there was huge potential, but sadly the mutual admiration didn’t seem to apply to vocalists and without vocals this album simply isn’t one you’ll listen to more than a couple of times – they’ve fallen into a common guitarist trap of making an album with no vocals to distract from their playing, but without the vocals it’ just lacking too much.

“The mutual admiration society” is out now

Track listing:

1. Payday song
2. The in crowd
3. Checkin’ up on my baby
4. Baby please don’t go
5. Treat her right
6. Sugar shack
7. Memphis
8. Cryin’ time
9. I want you back
10. Disney medley
11. Hey good lookin’
12. Strip mall gourmet
13. Heartbroke

Instrumental cover versions - well played, but ultimately boring

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.