• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Riverdogs – Vivian Campbell Side Project Returns With California!

Vivian Campbell has long been one of the most respected men in the world of rock and roll. While people best know him for his role on the first three Dio albums, and for having been a member of Def Leppard since 1992, he has had many other side projects and collaborations, perhaps the most noteworthy of which being Riverdogs, with whom a pre-Def Lep Campbell first released an album in 1990.

California is the latest release from Riverdogs, teaming Campbell with Marc Danzeisen, Nick Brophy, and Rob Lamothe. There have been sporadic Riverdogs releases over the years, though the group’s work tends to be unfortunately overlooked.



In interviews, band members have claimed that they, for this Frontiers Records release, wanted to return to the spirit of their classic 1990 debut (which was expertly remastered and reissued by Rock Candy a few years back). Does California accomplish what it sets out to?

California proves to be a great mix of old and new sounds; you get the bluesy classic rock sounds you would expect from the group’s first album, but with more modern production and the occasional modern elements thrown in for good measure, this proves to be a solid effort from start to finish in its 11-track duration; even if the sound is similar to the first album in places, it never feels like a retread. There is enough diversity in the variety of tracks that you will never be bored; in terms of Vivian Campbell’s studio output, this one easily bests the latest Def Leppard album.

The Riverdogs are back, and California is a great record that shows what these guys are capable of. No fan should be disappointed in what they hear here. Highly recommended!


By Taylor Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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