-Review by Lola Miramar
I don’t think I would call these fellas a blues band, but they are most certainly jazz, folk, and soul infused, feel-good alt-rock. Both “Back” and “The Fender Song” remind you of what was best about rock radio when we were coming up. Just a laid back rock tunes you could sing along to when everything was so much more organic, before the air waves were dominated by soulless commercial pop and auto tune. “All Mixed Up” keeps it motoring right in that lane, windows rolled down, stereo turned up. Who hasn’t been deliciously blindsided by passion and heartbroken, and left wondering why that hurt so good? If this track doesn’t make you want to dance around the room, you need to check your pulse. What feels good and bluesy in this set of tracks is “Circumstance”, and it harkens back to what I really liked about Stevie Ray and Johnny Lang. Bringing us something familiar and new at once, because we are all swimming against the tide, and this makes the undertow feel good. The Girl from Illinois is sure feeling like Minnesota, because this track feels like a tribute to Dylan: Clever lyrics about a strong woman who cuts through the deceit around her and refuses to be bedded. She seems to have earned a grudging respect here, but the harmonica and Dylan style guitar work make it all feel lighthearted. The Fender is grittiest, bluesiest track of all of these, I am sad it is too short. I love the guitar work and sentiments expressed here. For the true rockaholic, truth is, the finest roll on a Saturday night does not inspire the delirium or the obsession brought on by the siren call of the shiny black Fender. Long live rock! After that long unrewarding work week nothing is as sweet as Sunday Morning, and this is not church. This is for those looking to turn up the stereo and sweetly fritter that time away with their sweetheart and let their troubles slip off like water from a ducks behind. “Miles from Home” feels like a nod to Zeppelin, lyrical guitar work and a soulful harmonica solo, lonesome wailing vocals that evoke whisky, railroad tracks, and a deep longing for home. “Magic Smile” is the track that will make you nostalgic for 80’s hair bands and rock anthems like Every Rose Has Its Thorn and Sweet Child of Mine. Maybe just a little saccharine, but you will find yourself joining in all the same because we all know someone who made you feel like God smiled all over you. Cheers to love! A very enjoyable album, however the last 3 tracks, “Cross to Bear”, "Worn Out”, and “This Ship Has Sailed” could have been stronger.