Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wild Roots Records artist: Robert 'Top' Thomas - The Town Crier - New Release Review

I just received a new release, The Town Crier, by Robert 'Top' Thomas and it rocks. Opening with Mississippi Quickie, a play on La Grange, Thomas conjures up a cool story and some real nice guitar lead over the famous guitar riff.... "a how how how how". Blues Grass has more of a spoken sung lyric along the lines of Elvin Bishop. Victor Wainwright adds some nice piano on this track and Thomas slides a nice riff as well. The Same Thing Could Happen To You has a bit of that Louisiana sound with Beth McKee on accordion. Lazy Little Daisey is another track with a "Bishop" flavor. It's a lazy kind of blues with Stephen Kampa on harp and some cool slide work from Thomas. King Snake Crawl has a traditional Chicago style to it with a nice warm sound. Mark Hodson adds cool harp work to strong vocals by Thomas who plays stripped down guitar riffs on this track and Billy Dean carries the bottom on drums. Bad Seed has a a more commercial back beat sound featuring Victor Wainwright on vocal and organ. It has a strong melody and a clean hook. Thomas lays out likely the best guitar solo of the recording on this track. What's The Matter Ma? is a more down home acoustic number along the lines of JJ Cale and also features Kampa on harp. Sugar Shop is a boogie track with a great piano intro and again rowdy vocals which are well paired with the rhythm section. Wainwright plays some particularly cool riffs on this track and Thomas lays down some nice swing blues guitar riffs of his own. YeeHaw Junction is a countrified 12 bar blues instrumental with cool solos all round. This track also features Patricia Ann Dees on tenor sax. I'm A Freight Train is a a cool acoustic blues featuring vocal by Thomas, Damon Fowler on dobro and Kampa on harp. Daddy's Gone is my favorite track on the release. Written by bass and guitar player Stephen Dees, this has a a blues feel but the timing and pace of a rural country track. Brandon Santini adds harp to this track and Thomas's vocals are perfect for this track. Title track, The Town Crier, is another blues shouter with a solid 12 bar base. Dees is back on sax on this track and Jeffrey Willey play some real nice harp but the hot guitar riffs on htis track take the cake. The final track, It Ain't Easy, is a cool shuffle track with heavy brushes on drums and just lead guitar and vocal. The WildRoots Choir (the entire band) adds backing vocal in a Delaney and Bonnie like revival finish.

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