Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'll Sing It Again...

It's here. Well, kind of. The cd and goodies didn't arrive but the album's available to listen to online, which I did. Even on my laptop's cruddy little speakers, the sound quality's good and the production value is solid. Chris Robinson's New Earth Mud sound is on this one. While I've heard these songs live several times and have given them countless listens on youtube, these studio cuts will crank through a nice sound system. With the windows down, headed up to the mountians. Or in the backyard with the kids playing and beer flowing.

Hail Hail - Smitty's count-in and the half-time tempo into their signature four-part harmonies. A slow burner, with shout outs by the band members to their mates. The feet start tapping as Adam's B-3 takes this one to church.

Call Back - I've already written about this one. One of the best songs on the album. Walker' s lead and acoustic pulse could realistically make this song chart. This one's hot.

Welcome to L.A. - Smitty on lead; story of the band's history. Four-on-the-floor, this one.

Heart Like a Wheel - Tim lead, solid song, especially live. Not the Linda Ronstadt song like the title implies.

See Her - the tempo changes will catch you off guard and make you think you're in 1973. Lots of classic hooks (one reminiscent of a Frampton riff) and a great set closer. Could hear this one stretch out with some cool trading twos by the guitarists.

Old Piano - sweet ballad. Bluesy and reflective. Scott's steel guitar puts this one right back in Laurel Canyon. This one builds through the verses and as it ends, I find myself hitting the rewind button.

101 - this one's got a Counting Crows vibe but Walker's lead keeps it good 'n swampy. Again, the harmonies and tempo switches hook you every time. One reviewer heard Jerry Garcia. I don't; I hear Glenn Frey. That's not a put down, either. I don't know the story behind the song's title but for an alum of UCSB, I'm keeping the title and giving it its own value. Not telling, either, but roll another number for the road!

Jump the Ship - Scott's key song. Covered this one live.

She Really Does it For Me - Joe starts this one and this one's for brawling in the bars.

Rise Up - There's a riff in this one that'll stop you in your tracks and make you pay attention the next time it rolls around. Bill must have busted a drum head on this one, he's killing the skins. Put a little love in there, Scott. A lead guitar dual at the end that, while too short for me, would make Duane and Dickey proud.

Brothers, Sons & Daughters - for some reason, this one wasn't available on the download. This one's Smitty's and he shows that these guys wear their hearts on their sleeves. They've been around and yet they're grounded in what really matters. To me, this song is the soul of the guys in the band.

Pure Mountain Angel - And this one's the soul of the band itself. Adam's gospel-tinged piano (a la Delaney Bramlett's "Hotel Shot"), and Walker's weary lead capture the attention and keep you riveted to the song. The harmonies (how many are in there, it's hard to tell but there are a bunch!) give you goose bumps. Halfway through the band jumps in and drives this one straight home. The song ends and you're left shaking your head in disbelief that guys can make a song this beautiful.

Of course I'm tripping all over myself. I don't care. This one's a keeper. The guys in the Truth & Salvage Co. did themselves proud, I say, and I can't wait to see them next month. 'Till then, I'm betting on this release getting a bunch of attention. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

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