Wednesday, May 11, 2016
The New Blues Revolution -- "To Hellendale And Back"
You'll meet Bill Grisolia, the front man, singer, piano player, along with guitarist Chap Copper. They both write the songs here. Roger Beall is the drummer, and Bob Burns is on bass. No additional players, no mechanical sweetening, nothing but these 5 solid songs.
Like I said, this cd had to grow on me a while, but soon I got to where Grisolia's bass heavy gravelly voice was exactly what I needed in my cd player. He really is a good singer. Cooper's guitar is a wonderful vehicle for these songs, which is the way I judge guitar players. I have very limited use for guitar-wankers, so for the most part I avoid them. Cooper is more my style--he has got tons of chops, and he can deliver a fill or an idea with economy and style. Beall and Burns have the unenviable task of creating the pocket inside which the vocal and the piano and/or the guitar tell these blues stories. Their playing is solid and rich, rooted in the traditional blues rhythms.
"Souls On Fire" starts things off, and promptly reminded me of equal parts Billy Idol (back when he was good!) and Chris Rea. "Whiskey Town" reminds me of an unreleased song by The Doors, and I mean that as a high compliment. This one wears its' Los Angeles roots well. "Black Widow" might be the best song here--it throws all those influences into a blender and the result is a damn good song. Well written, well sung, well played. "Baby Blue" might be just a tad weak by comparison--but almost anything would have come across that way after "Black Widow." It also might be that title. If they had called this song "Sara's Blues" it might have gotten a fresher hearing. The last song here is "Sunset Psycho Twang," the only song here not written by Cooper/Grisolia. This one is written by Cooper/Resch, and it is a more atmospheric song, an instrumental, recalling perhaps a lost Pink Floyd cut circa 1971. Very beautiful. Whenever I hear this one I want to hear it again.
I've played every one of these songs on my Mo' Blues radio show on the internet radio station Caldonia's Crossroad Radio, (http://www.caldoniascrossroad.com) and this is a strong but brief set.
You can buy this cd from the band website: Http://www.NewBluesRevolution.com