BONA LISA – “GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT”
By R. Kramer, March 14, 2020, Atlanta, Georgia
From somewhere beneath the murky depths of the Columbia, SC music scene comes a band that hails by the peculiar name Bona Lisa. At the core of the band is one of the hardest working and hardest playing husband and wife rock & roll tag teams in the Southeastern United States. Andrew Milikin and his wife Donna are dedicated to carrying on the torch for hard rock and heavy metal at its purest and their new CD release is a testament to their dedication. The rocking couple's newest labor of love, "Give it all you Got", has arrived almost three years following the release of their first self-titled EP which was released in 2017. Recorded in Lexington, SC at Sugar Recording and mastered in Charlotte, NC by Studio B Mastering, and with the help of a small army of fellow musicians and friends, it proves once again that patience is a virtue.
At the heart of the band's sound, as always, is Milikin's well crafted razor-sharp guitar work. This the result of a lifetime of honing his style with the influences of his musical forefathers, including favorites Michael Schenker and the late great guitar legend Gary Moore. Andrew's guitar is perfectly paired with Donna's strong and melodic singing accented by her banshee wails and an occasional wildcat growl. My first impression was that I could have been listening to somewhat of an angry Pat Benatar but Grace Slick also comes to mind (does anyone remember White Rabbit?)
Upon putting the CD in my player my ears were blasted by the opening riffs and I was a little taken-aback. Did I mistakenly insert a Schenker CD? I was also blindsided at the start of track two. When I heard those majestic uilleann pipes fading into a blaze of flaming guitar work, I felt that I could have been listening to a lost track from Thin Lizzy's epic "Black Rose" masterpiece. The spirit of Gary Moore is most definitely alive and well in Mr. Milikin. The song remains my personal favorite and ultimately hi-lite of the album. Lyrically, "Lost Son" is a heartfelt and powerful ode to Andrew's late father and I am sure dad is smiling down on his son!
I can sum up the rest of the album as the type of rock and roll roller coaster that commonly makes the rounds on any rock radio station's top 20 playlist. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from the band with the peculiar name Bona Lisa.
Very proud of this young man - Parker Roberts had the inspiration to work in the music industry throughout High School and College. Moving to Nashville and not giving up on his dream he has worked hard, knocked on some doors, and was smart enough to accept opportunity when it presented itself. One of Columbia's own we look forward to seeing his name on many future credit listings -
One of the first historic South Carolina bands I showcased on the site. I have had a tremendous response for this band over the past four years, the influence this band and the individuals who were a part of it have had on modern American country music can not be denied, they were truly a first to create and develop a unique style all their own and they were from our great state - we are so very proud of that fact.
If you don't have any of their music in your library this is the time to put some there. This Anthology contains some of their best work together and I highly recommend it to everyone so celebrate Walter Hyatt, Champ Hood, and David Ball - "Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Enough Could Sing... "
Lyle Lovett (That's Right You're Not From Texas")