Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Solomon King -- "Train"

I just wrote a review of David Egan's latest cd, took a break for lunch, and here I am again, writing a review of Solomon King's "Train."

Solomon King is both a man and a band--the man sings and plays guitar in the band--and he does both with an extra measure of grit and soul. This is King's third release, after "Buy The Medicine" (2011) and "Under The Sun" (2009). On "Train" King writes all the songs. The band includes Johann Frank on additional guitars, Steven "Styxxx" Marshall on drums, Princeton Arnold on bass, Buddy Pierson on Hammond B-3, Nate Laguzza on additional drums and percussion, Jimmy Powers and Glenn Doll on harmonica, and a bunch of people contributing background vocals: Maxayn Lewis, Connie Jackson, Gaby Teran and Jorge Costa.  

They make a very attractive blues music together. For months I have been talking it up, playing this cd for people everywhere. Once they hear it everybody loves "Baby Does Me Good" and "Coffee Song." I have played them on my blues show at http://www.goldradio.net/ "Country Song" might be my favorite song on the cd. There's a great (but brief) guitar solo on "My Baby's Love." If I ever could learn to play the guitar--which would only happen by either a miracle or by osmosis--one of the very first things I would want to play is "Slo Blues"--which has a very tasty guitar solo. Special cudos to the rhythm section--Marshall & Arnold lie down interesting and captivating work on every song here. And those background vocalists? They are used to good effect--making an inviting pocket to surround the lead vocals and guitars.  King's vocals mark him in the top rank of blues artists--he sings great.

Solomon King's new release "Train" is the sign of an artist on his way up. This is his best music so far--with great singing, strong songwriting, and a selfless maturity--and yet I sense even bigger things ahead. This cd reminds me of early Dire Straits or The Band circa "Music From Big Pink," great music following an artistic vision all in service of each individual song. One of the best albums so far of 2013.  

You can buy this cd at http://solomonkingmusic.com/

No comments: