Lock Alley Music
CD: 11 Songs, 42:30 Minutes
Styles: Mellow Blues, Jazz-Influenced Blues, All Original Songs
According to an online thesaurus, synonyms for the word likeable include pleasant, affable, amiable, genial, friendly and endearing. According to Stephen King, the blues is “mean music,” the complete opposite of any of these adjectives. Which poses the question: What makes a blues CD likeable? If King is right, then dark, raw, and edgy songs combined with gravelly vocals are the right ingredients for this recipe. However, if Nashville’s Lara and the Bluz Dawgz are also right, mellow tunes with sultry horns and a voice like hot pepper-tinged honey would also fit the bill. Their third release, Out Here in the Blue, is a collection of eleven original songs that blend blues and jazz as smoothly as coffee and milk in café au lait. Not everyone likes their musical brew black. If this reviewer had a shot at naming this CD, it would be Bluz to Eaze Your Mind. Want more proof? Check out the cover art: a tranquil lake surface, not one beset by a squall.
According to their cozy corner of cyberspace, “Nashville, Tennessee is a city rich with great musical partnerships; the creation of Lara and the Bluz Dawgz is no exception. It was the love of Blues that brought this lineup of seasoned musicians together. The members of the band hail from a wide range of geographic locales, from New York to Louisiana, and from New Mexico to Ontario, Canada. Their collective live performance experience spans several continents and countries and creates Lara and the Bluz Dawgz’ unique take on the Blues. These musicians are accomplished in their own right, with a live performance pedigree whose venues range from CBGBs in New York City to the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.” As for the band’s leading lady herself, “…Vocalist and songwriter Lara Dean Germony [no typo on her last name] brings an unmistakable vocal style, rife with lyric and emotion that epitomize the Blues genre. Lara began performing at a very early age. While in college, she majored in classical voice performance. Lara loves all types of music and has performed in Jazz, Rock, and Country bands while her heart remained loyal to Blues, a common thread in all of these styles.”
The Bluz Dawgz consist of Lara’s husband and album producer Gregg Germony on bass; Al Rowe on guitar; Carlos Ruiz on drums; Reggie Murray on sax and B3 organ, and Dan Nadasdi on keyboards. The Dawg Pound Horn Section includes Stuart Naylor on trumpet; Chuck Lyons on trombone, and Eric Walker on baritone sax.
The following song is a soothing sample of just what you’re in for Out Here in the Blue.
Track 05: “Walk Away” – When you find yourself too far down the wrong path with a partner, what’s the best solution? The title of this song, as our narrator knows all too well. “I’m not looking for a heartache, so it’s like I say. Baby, baby, walk away.” Some people are just too much for some people, but Al Rowe’s guitar is just right for every blues fan on the planet! I’m not kidding; it comes as a saucy surprise. So does Dan Nadasdi’s terrific piano keyboard solo.
Some may complain that for a third time around, Lara and the Dawgz don’t break enough new ground in the jazz/blues subgenre. However, when you’re stressed and stretched more taut than a tightrope, what better antidote can there be than this wholly likeable album?