Johnny Max Band – Roadhouse Soul | Album Review

Johnny Max Band – Roadhouse Soul

johnnymaxband.com

Poor Soul Records

10 songs time-38:29

Johnny Max’s sincere and warm vocals meld perfectly with his musicians and lyrics on this well crafted collection of roots rock tempered by funk, blues, R&B and whatever else they throw in. These Canadian bands have an uncanny knack for creating imaginative music. With just the basics of guitar, mandolin, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals the band whips up a full and satisfying sound. The production by Johnny Max and guitarist Kevin Vienneau gives clarity to each instrument. All compositions are band originals.

Sweet revenge is the subject of the upbeat “Couldn’t Happen To A Nicer Guy”. Boogie-woogie piano, slide guitar, clever lyrics delivered in a warm manner add up to a winner. “Blind Leading The Blind” comments on the sad state of the world situation over a super catchy guitar riff. Speaking of which, a another nifty riff leads into the funky “(I’m Your) 911”, where guitar intertwines with the textured keyboards of Rob Gusevs. Quisha Wint contributes her soulful background vocals as she does elsewhere during the proceedings. A modern day song with similar sentiments of “Nobody Knows You Are Down And Out” is the delightfully wistful and upbeat “I’m Broke”. Kevin Vienneau’s melodic mandolin greatly enhances this tune. The only other instrument being some bluesy piano.

Johnny’s warm voice envelopes the tender lyrical content of the perfect love song “I Wish I Could Write You A Love Song”. The title track is a rollicking rocker is a jubilant description of their type of music. Brotherhood is the thrust of the slow electric piano driven “Lend A Helping Hand”. Quisha once again offers up her soothing backing vocals. The roadhouse groove really kicks in on the raucous “Time Well Wasted” with its’ Chuck Berry-ish guitar goodness. The tender “We’ve Been Together For Such A Long Time” melds spy movie guitar with “chimey” piano. A beautiful wrap up to a totally enjoyable good time.

Everything works well here from the vocals, Kevin’s guitars and mandolin, Rob’s keyboards, Jim Casson’s drums, Russ Boswell’s bass to Quisha Wint’s complimentary vocals. When all the parts gel like this it makes for musical magic. It’s very obvious that much care was given to this project. Take advantage of the good feelings within this CD.

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