Devin Leigh – Searching For The Truth
Guitarist Devin Leigh started his career as the leader of the Hillbilly Cafe band, followed by a decade-long stretch playing lead guitar for a variety of Texas musicians. For the last six years, he has performed regularly throughout Texas as a one-man-band, utilizing percussion and harmonica to fill out the sound. With two exceptions, he is the sole musician throughout this album in addition to overdubbing his own backing vocals.
Right from the start, Leigh demonstrates that he can wrangle plenty of sound from his instrument, played with a slide. “Judgment Day” is a dark warning about the perils of modern life, complete with a rousing chorus that preaches the need for Bibles, revivals, and prayers. The mood doesn’t get any better on “Dark Days,” as the singer mourns lost love on a ballad full of shimmering guitar lines.
He fares better on “I Want Your Kiss”. Over a Bo Diddley- style beat, Leigh weighs in on the woman he desires, letting listeners know, “I want your sign to line up with mine. I want your name, that’s no surprise”. The title cut rocks hard with a multi-tracked vocal wrapped around well-played solo breaks. It is one of the original songs that illustrates Leigh’s penchant for repeating lyrical phrases, which reaches a peak on “When You Say My Name”. The title line and the accompanying guitar riff seemed designed to bore directly in your consciousness with the help of a hammer-hard beat. “Rise Up” features liberal use of the title amid a mix of slide and wah-wah enhanced guitars.
The instrumental “Suckerpunched” takes things to another level thanks to the fluid playing from guest Juan Garcia Herreros on bass. A second musical excursion, the very brief “Excursion,” has a familiar riff that may have been borrowed from the Stooges. “Give Me Back My Whiskey” has powerful guitar parts coupled with Leigh’s strong voice. The highlight of the disc is “Words Of Silence,” a quiet, haunting piece about a troubled relationship, with Leigh on acoustic slide guitar accompanied by Becky Steinsultz on vocal and piano. It adds up to a solid effort from Devin Leigh that uses blues influences to season a musical approach that travels on the rock side of the blues spectrum.