Somewhat Produced/DAF Records
CD: 11 Songs, 41:36 Minutes
Styles: Blues Covers, Guitar Monster Blues, Contemporary Electric Blues Rock
Over the years, I’ve learned multinational brand-name companies such as Coke and McDonald’s spend a lot more on advertising than manufacturing. They want the packaging to be appealing, not necessarily the product. (Witness how Mickey D’s burgers look in their ads versus real life.) In the case of California’s AC Myles, presenting listeners far and wide With These Blues, the reverse is true. His third CD’s cover art may not be flashy – even downright basic, displaying two black-and-white shots of our guitar hero in action. However, flip its case over and you’ll begin to see the glimmer of gold in this piece of blues-rock ore. Not only does Chris “Kid” Andersen star on B3 organ, but the entire album is “safe for airplay,” as it “contains no restricted or offensive language.” He’s a pure talker in terms of vocals, but he lets his shredder do most of the speaking. On seven originals and four covers, he and his posse give their all, with a refreshing mid-key sound.
According to the “Biography” section of his little corner of the Internet, “Born in California, the only son of production workers, Myles grew up in the migrant worker rurals of the Central California town in which he was raised. Myles spent his later teens and twenties touring with his own band, eventually finding his way to the San Francisco Bay Area and playing sideman to an array of acts. Along the way, with a keen ear and sincere passion, AC has become a gifted entertainer and musician. His personal appearances have a ‘take no prisoners’ approach which, along with a healthy dose of humor, usually gets even the toughest audiences on his side.”
No kidding: He’s appeared with Buddy Guy, Sonny Landreth, and Elvin Bishop, among several world-renowned others. He has also taken the stage at more blues festivals than you can count on three hands, both in the US and worldwide.
Who’s helping lead guitarist and singer AC on this current album? As mentioned earlier, the one and only Chris “Kid” Andersen, along with Phil Santellan on bass and Sky Garcia on drums.
These three original songs prove just how massive of a guitar megalith Myles really is.
Track 02: “Ditch Bank” – At first, yours truly thought this song’s title was a succinct argument for joining a credit union, but that’s not so. It’s a mid-tempo instrumental featuring copious use of a ‘70s-style wah-wah pedal and Andersen’s understated yet keen organ. At live shows, this would be a great time to kick back and finish one’s beverage of choice, whether alcoholic or not. Sometimes the blues is about letting one’s interior engine idle for a bit, not rev forevermore.
Track 04: “Joaquin” – Time for a barroom boogie with some Texas flair! “Joaquin” is short and sweet, with a run time of a too-brief 1:55, but it’ll get people out of their seat and on their feet in no time. One minus: Why is the fadeout so long? Why didn’t this track finish with a bang? Crowds will be at a loss for when to stop dancing. Maybe Myles will play this in a medley.
Track 08: “Broke Baby” – Last in this column, but certainly not least, is Windy City-infused “Broke Baby.” It shows the easygoing chemistry between AC and his fellow musicians, which showcases perfect instrumental balance among all four. This is pure contemporary blues rock, with a smooth yet saucy bass line by Phil Santellan.
Let Cali’s AC Myles entertain you With These Blues, featuring a melodious guitar monster!