Meanwhile, Barnes’ daughter Mahalia has been recording an album with her own band, The Soul Mates. The album will contain 12 tracks and is being produced by the legendary Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Journey, Aerosmith) with Jean-Paul Fung engineering (both worked on the Barnes album too). Mahalia’s band, The Soul Mates features some of Australia’s finest musicians including Mahalia’s husband Ben Rodgers, Lachlan Doley, Clayton Doley, Dave Hibbard and Franco Raggatt. Contributing vocals are Jade MacRae, Juanita Tippins and Darren Percival. It also features guest guitarist Joe Bonamassa. The album should be released in early 2015.
After a lyrical opening, ‘Anyway’ took on a rock vibe, but it was momentary — the players revelled in changes of pace and mood. In time Raggatt treated us to some guitar playing that brought to mind John Scofield and James Muller from Wangaratta Festival of Jazz ’08. This was definitely a jazz quartet that would have broad appeal – Joe Talia
Franco Raggatt – guitar, is the new guy in the band, I think it’s been about 8 years now … he’s a freak. He is so modest, quiet and unassuming, he’s actually quite shy but he is a beast of a player – Mahalia Barnes (Liner notes Betty Davis Songbook)
Franco Raggatt is a phenomenal guitarist. Listening to him play his Fender Stratocaster is just pure pleasure. The lead breaks were superb and his bending of those strings produces such a beautiful sound that completely takes you away to another place. A total joy – Vlad Pocuca
Review: ‘Hindsight’ – Jimmy Barnes
“No Second Prize” is a great rock track that stands out among the other ‘classics’ on this collection, due to Jimmy’s solid singing, great playing from Charley Drayton (drums), Ben Rodgers (bass and guitar), and guitarists Davey Lane and Franco Raggatt – Todd Jolicoeur
Teaming up with American blues guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa, Australian powerhouse vocalist Mahalia Barnes (daughter of Australian Rock legend Jimmy Barnes) and her ace band the Soul Mates have revisited 12 tracks culled from Davis’s three releases … The record winds up in fine style with the slinky grooved “Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him” … Amazing Soul Mates ensemble playing and guitar work here by Bonamassa and Franco Raggatt. Great closer – Carl Schonbeck
… An extremely natural talent for his chosen instrument and music per se has produced one of the strongest and most creative young guitarists currently performing in Australia – Jim Kelly, Internationally renowned Jazz Guitarist, Composer & Educator