RR logo

Front Page
Back Issues
Classified Ads
About Us

The Music Scene by Bob Cianci

Rockin’ sounds and 60s reissues from Sundazed Records

Jonell Mosser, Enough Rope, Siren Song Records.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Jonell Mosser is perhaps the best female singer working the rock, blues & soul genre today. This talented, emotional, soulful woman with the huge voice, makes her living as a background singer in Nashville, and steps upfront only for the occasional club, concert or festival gig. Her voice cuts straight to the heart on her second compact disc, which was released nearly two years ago. Of course, if Siren Songs Records would put me on their mailing list, I could have told you about this great recording a long time ago.

Jonell rocks harder this time out and her backup musicians respond with a sound that echoes the greasy, laidback, fatback funk of Little Feat. Slide guitar dominates the instrumental mix, as Jonell wraps her pipes around lyrics to tunes like “Love Like Rain,” “Your Love is Working in My Life,” “When I Write the Book,” “Strangest Dream” and “Resurrection Day.” There’s not a bogus track in the bunch.

This is Jonell Mosser’s finest work to date. Five stars. www.sirensongs.com.

Mambo Sons, Play Some Rock & Roll! Casa Del Soul Productions.

Guitarist/journalist Tom Guerra is an unabashed fan of power chords, hot solos, Keith Richards-inspired rhythms and lyrics that don’t require a Ph.D. to decipher. In other words, this is straightforward, simple, guitar-driven rock & roll that might remind you of The Rolling Stones, Mott The Hoople, Free, Bad Company, Cheap Trick and others. The material is good to excellent and Tom’s band mates, singer Scott Lawson, bassist Jeff Keithline and drummer Mike Hayden are all in-the-pocket players. The Mambo Sons’ Play Some Rock & Roll! doesn’t cater to trends and makes no pretense at being anything more than a fun, party rock record. In that vein, it succeeds handsomely. I wish more bands cared less about fashion and image and more about the music. www.mambosons.com.

Patty Hurst Shifter, Beestinger Lullabyes, self-release.

There’s a great music scene in North Carolina and it keeps getting better and better with new bands coming along all the time. Among the best is Patty Hurst Shifter, a four piece, guitar-heavy band whose music is loaded with righteous riffs, southern twang and tunes about love gone wrong, mixed with raw, hard-hitting, high-energy rock a la The Black Crowes and The Rolling Stones. Lead singer Chris Smith and guitarist Marc Smith (no relation) make a fine frontline team, and bassist Johny Williams and drummer Skillet Gilmore, formerly of Whiskeytown, round the band out. PHS’s high-octane level rarely goes below “9” throughout and that’s fine with me. This is a very promising first release from these talented North Carolinians; there are memorable songs, hot licks and energy to wake the dead. www.pattyhurstshifter.com.

New Releases From Sundazed Records: Sundazed Records, the country’s leading 60s rock reissue label has more goodies on the market. The Cryan’ Shames from Illinois scored a fair-sized hit in 1966 with the fluffy “Sugar & Spice” and tried valiantly to follow it up with singles that veered dangerously close to commercial psychedelia. The Shames never had another hit as big as their first, but in retrospect, all three of their albums, Sugar & Spice, A Scratch In The Sky and Synthesis all contain worthwhile cuts. The Driving Stupid hailed from New Jersey and recorded a handful of tunes like “Horror Asparagus Stories” (also the name of this CD) and “The Reality Of (Air) Fried Borsk” that have baffled and amazed 60s rock collectors and fans alike. Barely able to play, the band made their way out to New Mexico and finally California where by little more than sheer bravado, they managed to land a record deal. When The Driving Stupid’s first couple of singles bombed, their album was shelved—until now, and it’s a demented 60s classic. The New Colony Six had their share of later regional hits that leaned toward commercial ballads, but their earliest material was right out of the 60s punk garage. This is the long-awaited reissue of Breakthrough, the group’s first album, and it holds up pretty well. Don & The Good Times epitomized the wild, raucous northwest rock ‘n roll sound and The Original Northwest Sound Of Don & The Goodtimes is the best retrospective reissue of this fondly remembered band’s recorded work. www.sundazed.com.

  Front Page| Current Issue| Back Issues| Search
Problems? Comments? Contact the Webmaster.
Entire contents © 2003 by the author(s) and Stuart Communications, Inc.