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L.A. Beat

CD Reviews


Dirti Speshuls release huge debut CD “Long Time Coming”

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 Lethbridge rock band the Dirti Speshuls have released their huge new debut CD,“ Long Time Coming.”

It is huge sounding in every way from the first chord of the first song “Gotta Go.”

They sound like ’90s rockers Treble Charger jamming with Queens of the Stone Age in an ’80s studio run by Bob Rock. They sound like they stepped right out of the late ’90s while sidestepping the whole grunge craze.Click Here to hear the Dirtis Speshuls

Everything about it is  big— it has a a huge sound, big guitars, big choruses, big everything except the length as it is only eight songs long.

 They are all good though. ‘Gotta Go” Crazy Rocky” and “Come on Kid” all stand out.
they slow down slightly in the middle of the CD but pick up the tempo again onOut on your own, which has more of a modern rock feel.

The three guitarists Rob Cooper, John Brooks and Jon Vornbrock each have their own distinct sounds yet still provide a  big wall of sound. Drummer Dean Wilson and bassist Rick Beres play in the pocket in an unstoppable rhythm and Todd Carter, a veteran of the Lethbridge music scene, has a distinctive voice. The other band members  also harmonize nicely.
 They end on  a high note “Never the Same,” which shows off the guitars and the vocal harmonies.
“Long Time Coming” is a rock solid listen for those who want to move, groove and maybe even dance.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

CD: Long Time Coming
Band: the Dirti Speshuls

genre: rock/ alternative rock


MonkeyJunk play more than just the blues on All Frequencies

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Ottawa blues trio MonkeyJunk branch out a little on their Juno nominated  CD “All Frequencies.” The bassless trio play a variety of different  forms of blues which is all good, but they add a little more this time.Click here to hear MonkeyJunk
 While there is still a lot of catchy blues, powered by Steve Marriner’s fabulous harp and baritone guitar, plus many smoking solos from guitarist Tony D,  they have a lot more soul and even some quirky pop/ reggae sounds along the lines of Sublime on tracks like “Je Nah Say Kwah.”

 The  CD begins on a high note with “ You Make A Mess,” and they keep the energy up from beginning to end.

 That baritone guitar just sticks in your gut and it is always a pleasure to hear Marriner’s mind blowing harp. He also has an appealing voice which sounds like a mix of Kenny Loggins and Richard Marx.

 “Once Had Wings is a slower, more tender, but dark Delta blues style number.

 They shine when they turn things up on the ultimately catchy “ Say What,” with the huge sing along chorus “ All Night Long” and a sizzling guitar solo.
I also love the groove of “Sirens in the Night.”
 The last track “Swank,” is a beautiful organ powered jam that borrows a few bars of the Sanford and Sons TV theme, then allows everyone to play tasteful solos.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: All Frequencies
Band: MonkeyJunk
Genre: Blues

Miss Quincy combines gritty blues with garage rock on Roadside Recovery

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 There is nothing hotter than a woman who plays  guitar and sings. Especially when they sing dirty, gritty blues and bares their souls raw like Miss Quincy and the Showdown, who have released their new CD “Roadside Recovery.”

As expected, for  a band which spends most of the year touring, a lot of the songs are inspired by being on the road and the loneliness that ensues.Click here to hear Miss Quincy

They recorded the CD with fellow Vancouverites Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer’s Matthew Rogers and it sounds like it.

 So the trio sounds a lot like Harpoonist  and the Axe Murderer’s gritty, minimalistic, raunchy blues, which in turn is reminiscent of other popular duos like the Black Keys.
Miss Quincy start the CD on a high note with the jagged, stabbing rhythm of “Bad Love.”
 They slow things down on the second track with “ What is Life If It Ain’t Strange.” “Damn You” is in a similar vein.

 Miss Quincy shows off her powerful pipes and strong vocal dynamics throughout the CD especially on the slower, soulful “ Talkin’ Trash,”  which is a tender ballad that sounds like it comes right out of the ’60s.
They pick up the pace again on “Making Money,” one of the CD’s highlights.

It has a sultry groove reminiscent of their version of  Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Snake Farm.” It is one of many songs on the CD which combine raunchy blues with unhinged garage rock.
For something a little different, “Take It to the Well ” combines gospel music with garage rock and make it work beautifully.

 For a contrast to that they follow it up with another gritty garage blues rocker “Wild Fucking West.”
They wind things down with the tortured title track. and finish on another slow note “Water Tower.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Roadside Recovery
Band: Miss Quincy and the Showdown
Genre: blues

The 24th Street Wailers provide “Wicked” horn powered fun

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I always look forward to hearing a new CD from Toronto’s 24th Street Wailers  CD.
 Their latest CD of dirty, gritty, horn powered blues “Wicked,” was recorded down in Austin with Jimmy Vaughan’s bassist Billy Horton.

Their music, powered by a lot of sexy saxophone and  drummer Lindsey Beaver’s powerful, whiskey soaked voice,
 takes the listener back to  filthy little ’50s juke joint.Click here to hear the 24th Street Wailers

 They pack a powerful punch in 38 minutes on their most recent CD “Wicked,” right from the title track, which features a lot of  saxophone and punctuated by several time tempo changes, yet it gets the toes tapping  right from the get go.

 The first single “Aim To Please” has a real old school rock and roll feel thanks to the boogie woogie piano of  T Jarrod Bonta, who joins  drummer/ vocalist Lindsey Beaver, guitarist Emily Burgess and  saxophonist Ian Wong and bassist Mike Archer on the track.

 The CD was produced by Jimmy Vaughan’s bassist Billy Horton, who adds background vocals.
All 13 tracks will get your toes  to tap and will even get you to sing along in places like on “Aw Baby.”
 “Feel So Good” is one of those.

‘Love Me Right is a more jazzy track that sounds like it comes right out of the ’50s.
 Beaver has a gritty, beautiful, bluesy voice throughout.

 It is a real rock and roll record full of two some minute long bursts of saxophone fuelled energy, with few tracks breaking the three minute mark.
 The slower track “I Need You” almost makes it to four minutes.

“Chin Wagger” is a catchy and sassy ’60s inspired  number which has a touch of Bo Diddley influence on it.

 “Boones’ Bounce” is a peppy instrumental which allows each band member to show their stuff.
“ Help Each other Romance,” is a mid tempo highlight.
 They end “ Wicked” with one last saxophone powered toe tapper on “Shake It” which features a big sax solo, a drum solo, then fades nicely away. It is an “Wicked” soundtrack for any blues party.

— by Richard Amery, l.A. Beat Editor
CD: Wicked
Band: The 24th Street Wailers
Genre: blues/ jazz

Kat Danser adds a touch of gospel to her blues

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Edmonton based swamp blueswoman Kat Danser has a touch of  that old time religion on her fourth CD “Baptized By The Mud.” Just a little bit. While there is a bit of religious imagery sprinkled throughout the CD, it is definitely not your traditional gospel album as  the songs explore a cast of characters who are down, out and perhaps exemplify the more hypocritical side of the overtly religious.

Click here to hear Kat Danser
She kicks things off with a toe tapping gospel number “ “Where Will You Be” When the Sun Goes Down.”
 The title track “Baptized By The Mud”  is powered by a gutbucket banjo and an accordion which gives the song a French tinged sound and dressed with some steel guitar.

 She sings in her whiskey weathered voice which is reminiscent of other first ladies of the blues like Bonnie Raitt and Canadian blueswomen like Rita Chiarelli.

 She sounds a little like Patsy Cline on “Crazy For You,” which also has a beautiful slide guitar solo played by producer Steve Dawson, though Danser also plays slide guitar and resolectric guitar.

 It also features a nice organ solo payed by Derek  Havers.
 She shows her more sensitive jazzy side on “Hear Me Out, Think It Over.” Which has a pretty jazzy, blues tinged guitar solo.
There are  lot of appealing, slower blues numbers on the CDS like “None of Us Are Free,” which also is one of the more gospel influenced numbers, enhanced by another tasteful Hammond organ solo. The background vocals help make this track.
 There is plenty of appealingly subdued slide guitar throughout the CD and  background  vocals that  enhance the gospel feel of the CD.

 She has a really soothing voice especially on tracks like “ Nothin’ At All.”
“ Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” is one of the songs closely related to actual gospel music, though it is a slower blues number with another excellent slide guitar solo and more  subdued organ.

Her cover of Ma Rainey’s 1928 blues song “Prove it To me Blues,” is a highlight with the eyebrow raising lyric “ I went out last night with a crowd of my friends, they must have been women, because I  don’t like no men.”
She also does an excellent cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “You Gotta Move.”
 “Winsome, Lonesome Kind of Gal” is a quirky highlight of her own, though more country than the rest of the CD.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Baptized By The Mud
Artist: Kat Danser
folk/ blues
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