Luxuriant Sedans – Born Certified
Seventh Son Records
CD: 13 Songs; 57:49 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, Blues and Rock Covers
Two of the most popular adages related to pictorial art are, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and “Looks can be deceiving.” The cover art of Born Certified, the debut album of North Carolina band Luxuriant Sedans, is a stunning case in point. It depicts the side of a fire-red automobile, complete with 1950’s-style fins and pointed headlights. Thus, this reviewer was expecting peppy blues rock in the oeuvre of that decade, with horns and bouncy beats ready for any sock hop. Alas, such was not the case. This CDis a compilation of ten covers and two original tracks that are so bona-fide hard rock that blues hardly enters the frame of this production at all. Sure, there are versions of blues songs on it, like “My Baby’s Gone” (originally by John Nemeth) and “Willie” (Walter Trout), but no one ever called John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey” 100% pure blues. Why give this particular playlist a shot at one’s latest shindig?
Two disclaimers in all caps tell the whole story. This release was “MADE LOUD TO BE PLAYED LOUD,” according to the inside cover, and this second one on the back cover (regular text mine, for the sake of saving readers’ eyesight). “This is a recording of real music made by real musicians for real people. Protect an endangered species and support live music.” The volume on Born Certified is all the way up even when it’s down, with the result of rip-roaring chaos. “Shake It” (track three) is as lyrically nuanced as this album agets, but when beer and brouhahas are the main events for an upcoming party, who cares?
According to their website, “The Luxuriant Sedans hail from the fertile musical stomping grounds of the North Carolina Piedmont…The common ground for their backgrounds is blues, but The Luxuriant Sedans is no typical fedora-wearing, licks-off-of-records blues band. Rather, the band’s deep musical versatility takes the blue soul in its music and adds an element of rock-‘n’-roll energy that celebrates taste and individuality.”
The Luxuriant Sedans are Mike “Wezo” Wesolowski on lead vocals, “scorched-earth blues harp” and “guacamole”(?); Ed Bumgardner on electric basses and lead/background vocals; Rob Slater on lead, slide and rhythm guitars, “sonic splendor” and background vocals; Geno “Woo Funk” Grandinetti on lead, rhythm, and “textural guitar voodoo,” and Bob Tarleton on “metronomic drums, the Big Beat and background vocals.” Guest musicians include Peter Holsapple on Wulitzer electric piano; Wally West on horns for track thirteen; Denny Quaver on shaker; Mitch Easter on “superhuman speed-flats tambourine;” and “THE” Sam Moss on “crowd instruction and the final word on ‘Rooster Blood’.”
With all that passion and creativity poured into the band description, what does the Luxuriant Sedans’ music sound like? See above, and also below – a review of one of their two originals:
Track 06: “Wezo Needs a Shot” – “Feeling like I’m running straight into a brick wall. Baby, don’t come around me when I call. I’m sitting at the bar. Don’t stop and rot. Well, I’ve got the morning hung over. Sure could use a shot.” The main attraction is Rob Slater’s blazing guitar, coupled with “Wezo’s” howling harp.
Unfortunately, Born Certified has too many overly-loud, “pre-owned” rock covers.