Both songs feature textural keyboards and other atmospheric sonic flourishes. Lifeson flexes his soulful lead playing, especially on the aptly titled “Kabul Blues,” on which he fires off an array of bluesy licks.
Lifeson is joined on both songs by bassist Andy Curran and drummer David Quinton Steinberg, both fellow Canadians. Curran began his career in the early ‘80s as a member of Toronto hard-rock band Coney Hatch, opening for the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Cheap Trick and Rush. He was also nominated for a Juno Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album in 1991 but lost to Rush’s Presto.
Steinberg, meanwhile, played with several ‘70s punk pioneers, including the Mods and the Dead Boys. He is now an entertainment lawyer; Rush are one of his best-known clients.
Lifeson has also partnered with guitar brand Epiphone to debut the Alex Lifeson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Axcess electric guitar. It’s based off the specs of the Gibson Les Pauls that Lifeson has played almost exclusively for the past 10 years.
The guitarist released a five-minute promotional video detailing his 50-year relationship with Gibson. You can hear previews of “Kabul Blues” and “Spy House” in the video or stream both songs in full on Lifeson’s website. You can watch ”Alex Lifeson and Gibson – A 50 Year Ride” below.
Earlier this year, Lifeson said he and Rush bandmate Geddy Lee still want to make music together. “We still talk about it, and I’m sure we will [work together],” Lifeson told Make Weird Music. “Of course, now with the pandemic, it’s kind of wrecked things for a bit. But we’re both eager to get back together and kind of get back into that thing that we’ve done since we were 14 years old that we love to do. And we work really, really well together. So we’ll see what happens with that.”