Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

EASY LIVIN'

2013-03-31

Putting their own bands on hold, Lap Steel player Damon Fowler, guitarist JP Soars and keyboardist Victor Wainwright have joined forces for the first blues supergroup of 2013. Producer Tab Benoit melds their collective talents into a diverse collection which includes everything from early Little Feat style funk, "Southern Livin'", to road house rockers, "Come Back Home", to Asleep at the Wheel influenced country swing, "Mile After Mile", to a gypsy jazz meets Santana instrumental, "Fried Neck Bones and Home Fries", to a West Coast style boogie, "Shoestring Budget", where the three trade leads like a hot potato, and even a touch of reggae, "Don't Feel Like Going There Today". As might be expected given their individual talents, each of the three capitalize on the talents of the others to produce songs that often are greater than the sum of their parts. For example, Wainwright's ballad, "Certified Lover", seems pretty low key and straight-forward until you realize that just beneath the surface there is all kinds of incredible guitar jamming going on between Fowler and Soars. Likewise, "Don't Boogie Woogie" features Fowler's slippery slide and Soars' beefy guitar riffs circling all around Wainwright's rollicking piano which in most bands would command all of the attention. While many supergroup efforts like this rely on the common ground of well known covers, this group invested time in its own original tunes with two group co-writes and several credited to individual members. Not to be a glutton, but here's hoping we get more of Southern Hospitality and that each member maintains his own terrific career. SMITTY

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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