Lock Alley Music
12 tracks; 45 minutes
Lara & The Blues Dawgz hail from Nashville, Tennessee and I believe this to be their first CD although the individual band members have a collective experience that they bring to bear most effectively on this album. Husband and wife team Gregg and Lisa Germony handle bass and vocals respectively and had a hand in writing all the material, some with other band members: Al Rowe on guitar, Dan Nadasdi on keys, Reggie Murray on sax and Ray Gonzales on drums. Gregg also produced the CD.
The material is mainly uptempo with some fine rocking tunes and a few slow blues but also incorporates elements of jazz courtesy of some fine keyboard and sax work from Dan and Reggie. Most of the songs are short and sweet but the band stretches out on the slower “Baby I’m Through With You” with all three front-line instruments taking solos, Dan’s piano standing out.
The album is bookended by two tracks that demonstrate the skills of all the players: opening track “Workin’ Overtime” finds Al in almost country mood on the guitar with both Dan and Reggie also getting solo space; closing track “This Place Is Rockin’” opens with Lisa’s laughter and it sounds as if everyone is having fun on this rock and roll number. Dan again lights up the keyboard with sparkling runs on piano and Al gives us a short and nimble solo while Reggie’s sax broods beneath the rhythm, waiting his turn to feature which he does on the outro.
The title track offers a different slant on the band’s talents as Al leads on the melodic cut, Lisa adopting a wistful tone on a sad tale of lost love. “Anywhere But There” is a very strong track (and features if you visit the band’s website), a rocker with great sax at the start and a stinging guitar solo. Lisa sings of her baby leaving her for Memphis, so she will go “anywhere but there” – bad news if they want to compete in the IBCs!
“Step On Up” has lots of tasty guitar as Lisa invites her intended guy to try what’s on offer, Dan switching to organ and Reggie sitting this one out but he is back on “Rude Dawg”, a song about a problem pet: “He grabs your leg and he won’t let go, chews up your shoes, pees on the floor.” Lara sounds unimpressed by office life as she sings of the “Corporate Monkey Cage”; “I don’t have to be good at what I do, I just have to look better than you”, the band offering excellent support throughout. Equally cynical is the put down in “Your Stupid Friend” when Lisa sings of her disgust at finding her new guy has another girl in tow!
I hope that I have given readers a fair idea of what to expect from this CD which I thoroughly enjoyed. I recommend that you check out this excellent album of all original material.