Just what the world needs, another hot-shot blues-rock guitarist-vocalist! The thing is that this one from Colorado has a different approach. Everything is recorded live with no overdubs and the sound is sharp and crisp. No heavy-handed production and clutter.
As another plus they throw in a little variety-A boogie tune here, a shuffle there…hey?…how about some accordion? Hey, don’t laugh, it actually works quite well. Bad Brad Stivers supplies the molten guitar licks and a well-suited, throaty voice. All the songs are written by him, at times wearing their influences on their sleeve. If you are hankering for some nifty blues-rock, this one will blow the dust off of your shelves quite nicely thank you.
Right off the bat an Elmore James inspired riff propels the title track. The clean guitar playing and hefty vocals are here for the duration…that’s a good thing. The lyrical content of “Leghound” is pretty self-explanatory. The song is set to a rockabilly-inspired riff and features some neat guitar solos.
The over-used patented boogie riff from John Lee Hooker and handed down to Canned Heat, Z.Z. Top, and Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky” rears its’ boogie-head once more in “Ego Trip”. Here it comes off as more of a visit from a long lost friend. Here as elsewhere the song serves as more of a vehicle for soloing. Greg MacKenzie joins band member Nic Clark on dueling harmonicas.
“Take It Easy” is a nice leisurely blues stroll with plenty of string-bending. The hypnotic heavy drums and catchy riff of “Headin” Out” are…well…hypnotic and catchy.
A slow blues progresses to an intense, burning guitar assault on “Lucky Man”. Lionel Young adds some tasty slide guitar licks to the shuffling drums on “Other Side”. A nice change of pace is offered up on the accordion-driven “See My Way”, courtesy of Dwight Carrier.
The Zydeco lilt is a pleasant rest stop amid the guitar frenzy. “Man On The Move” returns us back to blues-rock heaven with some more driving sounds. You can hear the chugging locomotive in the rhythm of “Train Down South”. A nice surf-meets-spy movie guitar motif takes us home in the sole instrumental “Uma”.
If you are a blues-rock guitar junky, this be the place for you. The lyrics are often secondary, as Brad rips off note after note. Production is well handled as all instruments come through distinctly. This is a welcome addition to blues-rock paradise.