Dallas Hodge – Don’t Forget About the Music We Made
CD: 9 Songs, 39 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock
Remember show-and-tell in middle school? Some enterprising future geologist would inevitably bring his or her favorite rock: a geode. The outside is unremarkable, but crack it open and you’ll find a real gem inside. Such is the case with the latest from IBC semi-finalist Dallas Hodge. The cover art – a sepia-toned picture of an empty chair on a railroad track – is unassuming, but the nine songs on the CD within really sparkle. Even on covers such as Tom MacLear’s “Love So Fine” and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads,” Dallas and company provide unique rejuvenation. This album has already catapulted to a #7 HOT SHOT Debut on the Billboard Blues Albums chart and a #7 Billboard Heatseekers spot for the week of July 27, 2019. Hot ziggety!
As for Hodge himself, boasting robust vocals and guitar swagger to match, he’s been performing and winning awards for more than four decades. Said Johnny Winter, circa 1971: “If you get any better, I’m going to have to cut off both hands.” Billy Preston commented, “You know when you do that head thing you do, it’s the ‘Holy Ghost head thing.’” Amid such high praise, Dallas keeps it real: “I feel like the luckiest person on the planet right now. It flat out feels GREAT! What a time to be alive and sharing my songs!” Baby boomers might recall him from his first ensemble, the Catfish Hodge Band, or later ones such as Chicken Legs and Canned Heat. He was the lead singer and songwriter for that latter band, all while being involved with his solo career.
Joining Dallas Hodge (lead vocals and guitar) are Larry Zack on drums and percussion; Pat Wilkins on bass guitar and backing vocals; Robert Heft on slide guitar, guitar and backing vocals; Jon Greathouse on keyboards, piano and backing vocals; Lee Thornburg on trumpet and valve trombone, and Ron Dziubla on saxophone. Coco Montoya guest stars on guitar for “Asking Too Much” and “Crossroads.”
Montoya helps to start this album off with a dynamite BANG. So does Jon Greathouse on barroom piano keyboards on “Asking Too Much.” Hodge tries to convince his partner that money can’t buy love, but greed knows no bounds. This song’s nothing short of explosive. After that comes “Jelly Roll,” a no-holds-barred number. It’s catchy and danceable, but purists might think it leans too far to the rock side of blues rock. On “Bad Troubles,” Dallas channels Eric Clapton and a bit of Walter Trout. This sing-along stomp will get crowds going.
“By the Hand” and “Hey Baby” follow, sweet love songs that bring a dash of jazz and funk to the forefront. Dallas exhibits his best vocals on “Love So Fine,” which might as well be a Coco Montoya hit although it’s a MacLear original. Next is the blistering slow burner “Shame Shame,” with an intro that would raise the dead. Then Hodge pledges his soul to the “Crossroads,” but pleads “Don’t Forget About the Music We Made” on one heck of a closer. Lee Thornburg and Ron Dziubla provide a heavenly horn section, complementing everyone to a T.
Don’t Forget About the Music We Made has definitely earned a spot on the charts, and in your hearts!