Ty Curtis – Water Under The Bridge
Self-Release – 2014
11 tracks; 43 minutes.
Ty Curtis is based in the Pacific North West and “Water Under The Bridge” is his fourth album. Ty wrote all the songs on the album which was recorded in Texas with Ty on vocals and guitar, producer Jacob Petersen on second guitar, Brian Ferguson on drums, Kiko Hanna and Glenn Fukunaga on bass, Dane Farnsworth on keys and Jeff Bryant on pedal steel and Rhodes piano.
This is definitely blues rock with plenty of reference points into classic American rock styles; there are nine band tracks and two bonus tracks with Ty on acoustic guitar and vocals in singer-songwriter mode.
The album opens in full blues-rock mode and what is immediately evident is the quality of the recording where every note can be heard. “Key To My Heart” rocks along pretty well and “Bad Break” has a catchy riff at its core, the organ and guitars are solid, Ty cutting loose in his solos. Both tracks owe much to the likes of Joe Bonamassa and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The title track “Water Under The Bridge” drops the pace a little and the classic rock feel is quite attractive. “True Love” is a gentle ballad written for Ty’s girlfriend, a stripped-back production with acoustic guitar, pedal steel and distant keyboards giving a country feel to the tune.
“Your Desire” hurries along on an insistent pop-rock refrain while “Thief Of Hearts” has more of a rocking Stones style thanks to the choppy guitar riff and some fine slide work. “Seen My Chance” is another ballad enhanced by some lovely guitar in the solo and interplay between Ty and Jacob on the outro while “Alright Now” is a catchy rocker with a good hook, the harmonies here sounding very 80’s AOR. A shuffle rhythm and some soaring guitar make “All It Took” the bluesiest track on the album. Ty sings this one particularly well as he sings of “following you down to the cheating side of town”.
The final two tracks are both solo acoustic but give us a chance to hear Ty without the full band and his voice stands up well to that inspection. “Loveless Time” has a touch of country and “Shame On Me” has more of a soulful feel.
This album shows that Ty and his bandmates can rock out as well as play more sensitively. Blues Blast readers who enjoy rock will probably find some enjoyable music here but, for this reviewer, there is very little blues to be found in the mix.