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Tribute albums aren't exactly my cup of tea. The last homage to The Band being dreadful, I've just about given up on the concept altogether.


But, if you're into Jeff Beck (and really, who isn't? I mean, come on ... Yardbirds? The Jeff Beck Group?), there is a new one coming out that sounds a bit intriguing. It's called Freeway Jam to Beck and Back. Due out July 17, on Tone Center (4057), it brings together some heavy hitters from the world of blues, rock, and progressive jazz/fusion for this paean to a man (photo at right from who, for all intents and purposes, has made the guitar his bitch over the years.

Among the contributors are respected guitarists Steve Morse, Eric Johnson, Chris Duarte, Greg Howe, Warren Haynes, and Walter Trout. Something tells me they won't defile Beck's amazing catalog the way other tributes have.

Lest you believe that it'll be all guitar solos, with no backing instrumentation, let me tell you, that'd be one false assumption on your part. Playing drums on five of the tracks is Vinnie Colaiuta, with Simon Phillips doing the stick-work on the others. Stu Hamm is holding down the low end on the bass, and Mitchel Forman will be playing keyboards.

Let me know: Are there any tribute albums you think are the bomb, rather than flat-out "bombs"? Hit me back and let me know.

Track listing, hitting you where it hurts — in the wallet, that is:

"Freeway Jam" — Featuring Steve Morse
"Over Under Sideways Down" — Featuring John Scofield
"Beck's Bolero" — Featuring Eric Johnson
"Led Boots" — Featuring Adam Rogers
"El Becko" — Featuring Jeff Richman
"Diamond Dust" — Featuring Mike Stern
"The Pump" — Featuring Warren Haynes
"Behind The Veil" — Featuring Chris Duarte
"Blue Wind" — Featuring Greg Howe
"Brush with the Blues" — Walter Trout