Pete Herzog is a singer and finger picking steel guitar player and Dennis Walker is a bass player and lyricist who penned Grammy winners for Robert Cray and B.B. King while winning six BMA/Handy Awards. They joined forces to co-write and perform this baker’s dozen of new tracks. Herzog infuses what he calls a “dirt road style” blues to Walkers lyrics and it’s a fun CD all around.
Recorded during the “Great Oregon Drought of 2014,” they prove that some bit of good can come from Mother Nature’s woes; this is an interesting set of nice new music that otherwise may have otherwise lacked the inspiration. Many of the tunes relate to the drought or the fires that ensued from the lack of rain that gave birth to new music despite the dearth of rain. The drought related songs are “Lotsa Rain,” “World’s On Fire Again,” “It’s Gonna Rain,” “That Rainy Day,” and “Hot Today” and all offer thoughts of the frustrations experienced when the weather gets out of control.
”Blues Instead” is a swinging little tune with a nice percussive shuffle going on. The song is the antithesis of a love song, with such deep questions being asked like, “why did you ever live?” Reconciliation apparently is not around the corner. The theme continues in “I’m Through With You” where the title seems to be the recurring theme. “Where’s My Sun” tells us his woman took the sun when she left, leaving him in the dark. “I Wish Him Luck” offers hope to the new love of a former lover. Appearing twice on the CD, they offer up a rich and somewhat more sparse and stark version for us to compare and contrast (I liked the former better with great slide, but both were good). “Arizona” is a song of second thoughts for a relationship as he drives long and far away. “St. Louis” is a song that describes the town as a cold hearted city and an apt comparator for his woman. “In the Ground” closes the set. Herzog sings of only being able to get rest when he’s buried as he’s serving time for apparently killing his woman. Lots of broken hearts and blown up relationships are represented here in these tunes.
Pete Wirts provides drums on one track, GT Albright appears on ten others on drums. Antoine Salley does a little percussive work, Bob Pagano plays rhythm guitar on a cut and The Crowfoot Congregational Choir is listed for their support. Also produced by Pagano, this is a cool and interest piece of work. Herzog picks out his tunes and delivers the lyrics written by Walker. Walker’s bass is sublime and adds just enough to move the songs along. Acoustic blues fans will enjoy this immensely. This is too older bluesmen having a good time making harmonious music!