11 tracks / 51:08
The Sidney Green Street band is promoted as a New Jersey bar band, but don’t let that description fool you into thinking they are amateurs – these guys are the real deal. But you do not have to travel to the Garden State to appreciate their brand of blues-rock, as they have recently issued their sophomore CD, SGSB.
Though they have only put out two albums, this quartet has more than enough experience to get the job done no matter where they are playing. Lance Doss (guitar and vocals) toured the world for over six years with John Cale, and guitarist Justin Jordan has over 20 years of professional experience, touring and appearing with artists as diverse as Sean Fleming, Shirley Allston Reeves and Gary US Bonds. Bassist Paul Page toured with John Cale too, and appeared with some really cool acts including Dion, Popa Chubby, Gary US Bonds, Bo Diddley, Del Shannon and Ben E. King. And rounding out the group is drummer Steve Holley whose resume includes work with Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, and Chuck Berry to name a few.
The Sidney Green Street Band has a few things going for it that most North Jersey bar bands do not, and the first thing is original material: Lance wrote all eleven guitar-heavy tracks for this album. Another plus is a high level of musical ability, and the last piece is their take on Southern blues-rock. Apparently, Doss picked up a good dose of this from his home state of Alabama, but their vibe is still original with just a touch of Skynyrd here and there.
The band took a chance by opening the set with a slow song, “Bye, Bye, Bye,” but this burning rocker paid off for them. Jordan and Doss’ smoking hot guitars are run in stereo and Lance knocks the vocals out with his diverse style, which can be described as a rough on one side and smooth on the other — kind of like a sheet of A-C plywood! This leads into the almost-pop “Sadie,” a play on the original Sadie Hawkins story as introduced in the Li’l Abner comic strip back in 1937 (in case you were wondering).
This change of genres is not unusual for the Sidney Green Street Band. “Some Things Ain’t Never Gonna Change” is a soft rock tune, but with hard hitting rhythm guitar work over the awesome backline of Page and Holley. It has a few unique guitar breaks, including a standalone dry solo and a heavily processed Wah pedal solo. Also, the modern boogie of “Number” is a jaw-dropping bit of guitar fun.
There are also a few standout tracks on the album that should be pointed out. The first is “Divine,” which has a catchy hook and an acoustic rock foundation. It shows mature songwriting, though it is uncertain if comparing your lady to a “good Southern Whiskey” will get you in her good graces. Doss’ voice is in fine form here with a surplus of emotion, and his harmonies with the other members are spot on. The other winner track is the country rocker, “Payin’ the Price” which is carried by its clever lyrics, an infectious rhythm guitar line, and some truly tasteful solo work.
The album ends with a really cool tune, “Consumer,” which has a lot going on. The rhythm section builds a sweet Boz Scaggs riff on the bottom, there is a smoking twin guitar attack on top, and a fun vocal history cuts through the middle. This track would be a good set-closer, and that is exactly what the band does with it on this disc.
The Sidney Green Street Band’s new album is a solid collection of original blues-rock with a Southern flavor. If you are a fan of heavy guitar blues with a killer beat this will be your cup of tea. And if you ever find yourself on US 46 between the Del Water Gap and NYC, make sure you stop in at the Great Neck Inn – they might just be on stage!