Hometown Blues – Free Spirit | Album Review

Hometown Blues – Free Spirit


self release

10 songs time – 50:12

This “blues band” from Brazil would be more aptly named Hometown Blues Rock. The only hints at blues are in front man Daniel Werneck’s harmonica playing that occasionally drifts from more traditional blues riffing to John Popper running the scales land. Guitarist Victor Barros delivers blues rock playing with a hard rock energy. Guests provide keyboards and backing vocals. As the liner notes and most of their Facebook page are written in Portuguese and no promo material was supplied, it’s impossible to supply any background information on the band. One upside is that Daniel sings without an accent, although his delivery is a bit stiff. Their energy and approach keep the listener’s attention.

The title song kicks things in gear as guitar and harmonica play in tandem leading up to a brief give and take between all instruments. The energetic riffing is enticing. Francisco Ytida adds his Hammond organ to the funky blues rock of “Hey Mama”. Victor provides Carlos Santana style soloing. The overly repetitive “You Should” owes more to Blues Traveler and The Spin Doctors than it does to blues rock. The harmonica playing on “Questions” is mainly from the John Popper play book. The song includes some tasty slow slide guitar.

More Santana style guitar appears in “Mariachi” where this curious lyric appears-“I am now a member of the Rogaine club”. A Portuguese language segment appears near songs end before Victor launches his Santana attack. Hey, what would any self respecting blues rock cum jam band be without a voodoo song? The boys give you “Show You My Voodoo” complete with tedious lyrics. The instrumental “Tripping On Tuesday Night” puts the band through its’ jam band paces. “I Cried” features some very inspired fleet-fingered playing by guitarist Victor.

In terms of a talented blues rock-jam band, these guys have a lot to offer. The rhythm section more than ably matches the lead players at every turn and Victor Barros’ guitar skills can’t be called into question. Daniel supplies blues and John Popper harmonica with ease. The lyrics tend to be a bit on the mundane side. Jam band aficionados will find much to savor here. Calling yourselves a blues band doesn’t make you a blues band.

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