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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Shawn Pittman & Jay Moeller

Everybody Wants to Know

Review by Gary Hill

It would be easy from looking at the cover to expect this to be a country album. It's definitely not that. Instead, this is a blues album more than anything else, but a couple songs don't quite land there. There is a very traditional, retro texture to this. At times it's more 50s based, and at other points it's more modern than that. Either way, this is more often than not exceptionally strong. For me, the earliest parts of the album are the weakest, and even those are pretty good. By the time you get past the first few songs, you are in for a real treat.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Can't Get Along With You
There is an up-tempo, fun rock and roll vibe to this opener. The vocals bring some hints of country music to the piece. I really love the driving bass work on this thing.
Everybody Wants To Know
Old school blues, this is a killer tune that really rocks. It's very traditional in style and has a lot of style.
Rattlesnakes (Instrumental)
The killer blues sounds on this call to mind the garage band style of the 1960s. I love the guitar soloing on this thing. The whole number just screams "retro!"
It Don't Take Too Much
The retro textures on this killer rocker are so classy. It's very much a 1950s styled stomper. I dig the guitar soloing, and the whole piece is purely on fire, really.
Woman Don't Lie
Another retro rocker is on the menu here. This has some particularly potent blues rock guitar sounds. I like the vocal performance on this a lot, too. This is very much of a blues based cut, and it's one of my favorites of the disc. The guitar soloing on this takes this listener, at least, on a real journey.
Hit The Road, Jack (Instrumental)
I've always been a big fan of this song in all its various versions. This retro styled instrumental take on the cut is no exception.
Things You Stole
This traditional blues grind is on fire. Everything about it really gels, and this is another highlight of the set. Again, the guitar soloing is so strong, but don't overlook the piano. It's classic.
Smarten Up Baby
This blues rocker makes me think of ZZ Top in a lot of ways. There are hints of things like Robin Trower and even Jimi Hendrix here, too, though. That said, this is more faithful blues rock than any of those comparisons really compare. The vocal delivery is all class, and the guitar fills bring the magic.
The Set Up (Instrumental)
The guitar work on this killer instrumental is so classic. I love the fuzz-drenched arrangement that serves as the backdrop, too. The bass line really makes the whole thing in so many ways. The shift from slow grind to fast moving jam is great, as well.
Dangerous Woman
Fuzzed up bass sounds start this number, too. It has a healthy helping of BB King as it drives outward, but there are hints of James Brown here, too. This is another high energy tune that's retro, classy and so tasty. Overall, it probably makes me think of Wilson Pickett more than it does either King or Brown. However you slice it, though, this is a smoking hot slab of retro cool.
Talk Didn't Do No Good
I can make out more of that ZZ Top thing here, but more than anything else this makes me think of Canned Heat. It's another classy blues rocker, but there are hints of psychedelia in this. It seems to draw more on the British blues sound of the 60s and 70s than it does the traditional blues referenced by a lot of this set. Either way, this is a potent number.
Blue Diamond (Instrumental)
Older musical elements guide this rocker. I love the drumming on the tune. It really shines. The whole piece rocks so well with retro magic.
I'll Forget About You
We're in more of a 1950s blues zone for this number. It has some hints of old-school rock and roll built into it, too. This is another strong tune on a disc with a lot of them. It's just a lot of fun.
Stroll Out West
This still has plenty of blues in the mix, but it's very much set in a 1960s or 70s style. I can hear some Hendrix in this for certain. Yet, this isn't as heavy guitar oriented as that would infer. I can even hear some hints of Led Zeppelin on this. The keys bring some real retro goodness. The cut is a powerful one that really works so well. It's one of the highlights and a great way to close things in style.
 
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