11 songs 41 minutes
Hard-hitting guitar slinger Joel Da Silva comes by his musical talents genetically. His guitar-playing father and vocalist mother toured the world as a duo, ranging as far as the Ukraine and Brazil from their home base in Chicago. Their fuses blues, rock and rockabilly in Durty Howlin’ Blues to create wave after wave of hard-hitting, in-your-face music.
Stylish both as a guitar player and vocalist, Da Silva relocated to South Florida in his late teens and quickly impressed the locals with his potential. By the time he was 18, he was holding down the guitar spot for Junior Drinkwater And The Thirstquenchers, Palm Beach County blues scene regulars. Now in his 40s, he’s worked in a succession of highly respected local bands – including the Regulators, a jump blues ensemble, The Underbellies, a psycho-billy and surf group, and fronted the blues-rocking Hep Cat Boo Daddies before launching a solo career with Midnight Howl. This is their debut album.
Since their inception, his group has been a popular opening act for artists that include Nick Curran, Foghat, White Stripes, Black Crowes and the Nighthawks, among others. Joining Da Silva on this project are sax player Doug “The Grenade” Treen, bass player Robert Cleary and drummer Stefano Rotati, who died a few weeks before this review was posted. All of the songs contained on the disc are Da Silva originals.
A brief military drumbeat precedes powerful bass line interspersed with flashy guitar chording and single-note runs kicks off “Rock N Rollin,” a tale of having still fun even after your woman’s just walked out the door. Da Silva’s a powerful, energetic vocalist with a guitar style all his own. Sax plays a prominent role in the intro to “Howl With Me,” a straight-ahead blues full of sexual innuendo. Treen handles all the solos and swings from the first bar.
The rhythm section lays down a steady shuffle for “Nice And Slow,” which gives Da Silva plenty of room to show his vocal talent as it features the positive message that taking your time improves your life and love life as you age. “Love My Gal” is a jump blues that charges out of the gate and gives Treen a chance to stretch out mid-tune before Joel launches into a brief, tasty solo. The syncopated blues-rocker “Runnin’” finds Da Silva wanting to take a break from a relationship in which the object of his affection seems to have the Devil at her side before the realization he has to “Move On,” the song that follows and features a long six-string solo to make his point.
A fast-paced rocker, “Michigan Girl,” replete with percussive rhythm and searing guitar licks, precedes “Let’s Not Fight, Let’s Make Some Love,” a loping tune that allows Da Silva to display his blues guitar stylings before the full-out rocker “Boogie Real Low.” A slow blues, “Home,” finds the singer to returning to pain and misery after the loss of his lady, never having had the chance to say goodbye. The psychedelic “Come Undone” concludes the set.
Available through all the major online markets or direct from the artist’s website, Durty Howlin’ Blues is right up your alley if you like the music full force and in your face. There’s no attempt to hold back on this one.