07
Sep
11

HERE IS WHAT I’M LISTENING TO, “JUST PLAY” ERIC CHURCH RULES-NEW REVIEWS BY JOHN EMMS

Heck,  every act worth their chops should just plug in play. I’m not saying you can’t have a nice p.a. and gear but bands should  just be able to plug in and play. That goes for studio too.

Indeed when you hear or watch some of the acts that played a huge venue like Montreux, that’s what they did. Here is a sample of what I’ve been listening to lately.

Canned Heat-Live at Montreux-1973-The Kings of Boogie, the pure stoned blues of  “The Heat” is in rare form here.

To be honest, in my opinon it’s better than their famous Woodstock set. Kudos to Clarence Gatemouth Brown who sits in and sparkles on Please Mr Nixon, and Worried Life Blues. Yet, his appearance seems odd only because as just a guest he shushes the band dynamics, tells them how to play and that seems very un-hip.

Bob the Bear Hite is a sparkplug, while Henry Vestine and James Shane shine on their guitar workouts. I think this is their best live work. 

Average White Band-Live at Montreux-1980-Some very nice moments. The high points are Pick up the Pieces, a funky Work To Do, the instrumental Sweet and Sour and the wah wah influx of Got The Love.

Luke Bryan-Tailgates and Tanlines-As the title would suggest, this album is about as cliched as you can get lyric wise. For example Country Girl Shake it For Me has references to Daddy’ s tractor, Grandma’s yarn and Sweet Little Farmer’s Child.

Heck every country cliche you can think of all in ONE SONG..I say Ouch!!!

Much better is Harvest Time and the excellent You Don’t Know Jack. Bryan is a solid vocalist, the players are hot but easy on the country cliches please.

Eric Church-Chief-Possibly the best county album you will hear this year. Integrity and attitude carries into every single song. Creepin, Like Jesus Does, the superb Springsteen and the percussive groove of I’m Getting Stoned.

Jay Joyce’s guitar work is very cool and the production is up front and ace. Church is the REAL THANG..Make no mistake about it.

Al Lukas-In My Soul-Stoned true to himself and his muse Lukas puts his head and heart into what he does. Nowhere is this more true then on the album’s best track Did’nt Get Lost In Losing You. Tight focused arrangment and playing by Lukas, bassman Carson Webber and drummer Rob Benvegun is right on the money. In a more blues vein the same is true for the very cool It’s Not Hard it’s Simple.

Elsewhere the title track adds an almost Eddie Vedder like dark vibe to it’s core and Lukas’ vocal, while Tell My Mind has a bright acoustic attack. A worthy new talent  you should check out.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, blues rock musican with The Shaftmen www.theshaftmen.com and online radio host.

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