Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sizzlin' Songs for a Sizzlin' Summer!!

Interestingly, all three of the songs I'm reviewing for this week are blues-rock tunes!! (Hence the title of this week's blog). Anyway, here they are:

“Blew Up (The House)” by Jonny Lang: One of the two best known names in ‘90s blues-rock (the other being Kenny Wayne Shepherd), it seemed as though Jonny Lang took on a more pop-y sound in the ‘00s, with songs like the slow “Red Light”, and the slightly more upbeat but still pop-y “Anything’s Possible”. The messages and deliveries on the songs Jonny did in the ‘00s didn’t seem to match the powerhouse quality he had in the ‘90s. Finally, after 7 years, Mr. Lang has redeemed himself, with the barn-burnin’ blues-rocker, “Blew Up (The House)”. It looks like Jonny has rekindled the fire within his soul, and is letting it light up the hearts of blues and rock fans the world around! Rock on, Jonny!!

“Funny Little Tragedy” by Gov’t Mule: So what do you get when you mix Allman Brothers alumni with Elvis Costello?! This song!! And yes, Mr. Costello contributes a guest vocal spot on this song!! Fans of Costello’s punk-pop days from when he was with The Attractions will love the relentless energy of “Funny Little Tragedy” (as well the organ solos towards the end of the song), while fans of The Allmans can still get their kicks with the song’s blues-y guitar solos and ragged guitar distortion (though the distortion is closer to Neil Young than it is to The Allman Brothers Band). I have to say, between this song and the one that Elvis Costello did with The Roots from just a week ago, I think Elvis is doing a fantastic job at retaining his hip-ness cred, and will probably continue to do so, as long as he continues making music!!

“Somebody Else” – by JJ Grey and Mofro: JJ Grey is da man!! He is more proof that white men can, in fact, sing the blues! JJ injects plenty of good ol’ fashion soul influence into his latest song, “Somebody Else”, too, simultaneously evoking the gutsy, raw, passionate R & B of James Brown, Al Green, and Otis Redding, among others. You get twice the instrumental prowess in “Somebody Else”, which boasts both a gritty sax solo and a mean guitar solo! Nice use of the organs on this song, too, though that instrument is not as prominent. To top it all off, the song ends on a jazzy, suspenseful, “James Bond”-ish chord. Could a “Blues Brothers” revival be far behind?!