DAMON FOWLER

ALAFIA MOON

2021-03-14

On his 8th solo release, Tampa native Damon Fowler exhibits the songwriting, singing and guitar chops that have propelled him from regional acclaim to the national and international spotlight. Working with the likes of Delbert McClinton, Buddy Guy, Rick Derringer, Little Feat and Dickey Betts has given Fowler a broad palette of sounds and styles to draw upon as he works his way through the 11 cuts collected here. The title track is a big-boned ballad that recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd while "Make the Best of Your Time" channels Delbert McClinton with its barroom groove and its sage advice about not accepting less than what you really want. "Leave It Alone" features snarling guitar and harmonica propelling a march like cadence that stands in stark contrast to the acoustic delight of Guy Clark’s "The Guitar". Fowler breaks out the slide for some nasty runs on "Hip to Your Trip" where he laments falling deep for a woman who treats him no better than a penny found on the ground, a fate somewhat better than awaited Fowler and his band on their first tour as told to hilarious effect on "The Umbrella/Kicked His Ass Out" where Iron Butterfly’s In- A -Gadda -Da -Vida got their only audience member kicked out of the show. "Some Things Change" is a raw rocker that features a healthy dose of T. C. Carr’s wailing harmonica and vocals seasoned with Fowler’s southern roots. Everyone’s favorite boogie man appears on the guitar-driven "Taxman" where Fowler does his best to dispatch the bum with a blinding array of chops. Another form of evil appears on "Wanda" where a mom with a mini-van also packs a pill bottle with the name scratched off, a pistol in her purse and a hotel key. Is the fate ahead hers or his? Listen and decide for yourself. Overall, this disc features a nice balance of great guitar chops, original songs and solid vocals.

SMITTY

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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