Dave Fields – Unleashed
FMI Records (Self Released)
Wow! Just when you think the guy has done it all he comes out with a mix of live and studio cuts of originals and original sounding covers that showcase this remarkable musician and his band; apparently he has even more to show us. He’s chose 14 fantastic songs to take the listener on a wild ride and demonstrate who he is– one the finest young musicians on the blues scene! Dave leans heavily towards rock but also weave jazz and funk into his blues in a remarkably cool manner. Joining Dave at various times on bass are Erik Boyd, Andy Huenerberg, Buddy Allen, and Chris Tristam. On drums he has Kenny Soule, Van Romaine and Dave Moore. Keys and organ are done by Vladimir Barsky and percussion/congas has Doug Hinrichs and Juan Pertuz on two cuts.
Fields starts things off with the jazz infused jumping sounds of “Anticipating You,” a lively instrumental where Fields’ guitar and Barsky’s organ work fuse nicely to the groove set by Boyd on bass and Soule on drums. Boyd’s bass solo lends credence to the jazz influences, and Dave’s stinging guitar sound jumps out at the listener to grab them and make them want to move to the groove. There is a bit of a respite towards the end with congas added by Hindrichs for good effect and then the cut whirls into a frenzied conclusion. Recorded live at Al Weber’s, the next cut is also live but from The Stanhope House. The classic “Going Down” opens to Fields’ big guitar riffs and provides the listener a rocking and wild rides with other worldly guitar effects and a strong vocal. It’s just the trio of Fields, Bryant (drums) and Huenenberg (bass) delivering a powerhouse sound.
“Child of the World” comes from the studio where Fields is joined by Soule on drums. Allen on bass and Barsky on organ. It’s the single from the album and pays homage to the terrorist attacks in Paris. It’s got a nice mid to up tempo groove to it and Fields’ vocals are gritty and authentic. Funky guitar and organ licks make this one a lot of fun! “My Mama’s Got The Blues” is next, featuring the gutsy harp work of Norway’s J.T. Lauritzen along with Field’s guitar and Boyd’s bass. The lyrics are humorous and depicts what’s waiting at home. Between baseball bats, guns, mace and a host of other abuses, this song just tells you to stay out all night and never get home. Fields does a beefy guitar solo and Laurtizen blows some mean harp here. This is a trademark Dave Fields song– loads of fun bundled with a superb sound!
“The Boy Wants to Play” gets funky and adds some cool backing vocals from Lis Sherman. Lauritzen returns on harp, Soule on drums, Allen on bass and Pertuz on the congas make this one extra funky. Fields and Sherman trade licks lyrically as the blues, funk and rock blend into a melange of cool sounds. “Jagged Line Pt. 1&2” follow. These two cuts have Van Romaine on drums, Tristram on bass and Barsky on organ back Dave as he sings the blues on a rocking music canvas. It has the feel of a White Album era Beatles cut blended with Metallica on Pt 1; Pt 2 takes the tune down a more subdued path with a slow tempo and minor key feel and then builds back into the frenzy of Pt 1. It’s very cool stuff.
“Better Be Good” returns to The Stanhope House show with a trio format. Dave seems at ease in this format and show, playing his heart out and nailing this one. The guitar licks are heavy and the sound is, too. Not for the faint of heart. “is another big, driving and fun cut. Dave show a lot of attitude in the vocals. Full scale, rocking blues done in Dave’s inimitable style. Recorded in the studio with Soule and Boyd is the next cut “How Am I Doing?”
“Pocket Full Of Dust” Recorded live at The Robin’s Nest with Dave Moore on drums and Huenerberg on bass is a pretty little slow blues with emotional vocals from Fields along with a more restrained guitar, well, at least for Dave that is. The next two songs hearken back to the great Jimi Hendrix. “Hey Joe” and “The Star Spangled Banner/Hey Joe Reprise” and also come from The Robin’s Nest Show. “Hey Joe” is a fantastic cover with some of Hendrix bells and whistles and some of Dave’s own magic. The guitar work is impeccable and the vocals are full of grit and guts. This is one of my all time favourite covers of this song. Next up we have some more emulation of Hendrix with some more of Fields originality thrown in. It’s not an exact copy of Hendrix in Woodstock. And then he closes with a reprise of “Hey Joe.” What’s not to like? I was exhausted after these two songs!
Dave gives us a special original next. “New York City Nights” could be a Sinatra or Tony Bennett number. Suave and cool jazz vocals, tasteful jazz guitar, expressive and fun lyrics and a slick but cool production. Dave really shows us some great chops and variety here. And it’s just a duo in the studio with Dave making all the band sounds and guitar and Gary Oleyar on strings. Really cool and a load of fun! He closes with one recorded live at Al Weber’s studio with the same foursome as before called “L.E.S. Hoedown.” It’s blue grass meets Dave Fields with more energy than ComEd and ConEd distribute together in a year. Cowboy junkie music because any cowboy in a hoedown would need lots of pharmaceuticals to dance to this one. Dave shows he can play with reckless abandon and have fun in so doing.
I loved this new CD. Dave shows us blues, rock and jazz with a lot of funk and all sort of other great stuff whipped into the mix. Dave’s fans will like this, perhaps his most ambitious album to date. Those new to Dave will hear what he’s all about and learn to appreciate what a great songwriter, guitar player, singer and performer he is. Surrounded by an assortment of great musicians in small ensemble formats, this is a superb album that will garner attention and recognition during the awards seasons.