Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mushroomhead. The Righteous and the Butterfly

Mushroomhead. The Righteous and the Butterfly.
Megaforce Records. 2014. Mushroomhead:  http://www.mushroomhead.com/main/

Mushroomhead, amongst member swaps and mask change-ups, is a band that has always vied to keep itself from becoming stale and predictable. Through one pack of musical rifts after another the band has maintained its development and image of rage and artful psychosis with dutiful consistency, cultivating a loyal fan base that reaches far and wide across generations. That dedicated following is very likely to be pleased with their newest album, The Righteous and the Butterfly, an above-average release that continues Mushroomhead's legacy, albeit with a less victorious aftertaste.

What is clear pretty quick with this album is that in terms of content and subject matter there's plenty of familiar territory here. By no means has the aggression and vitriol entirely disappeared from the throats and brains of Mushroomhead, with the fare still full of sickle-toothed sentiments, but in comparison to precedent for what usually is offered up the tracks now have more polish and a more moody vibe reflected in the instruments as much as the vocals. Nothing feels terribly arbitrary or forced, including a cover of Adelé's "Rumor Has It" daringly thrown in at the end.

Along with lineup changes due to some of Mushroomhead's long-time members exiting (the delightfully-named Pig Benis and Gravy) and others joining (Church, Dr. F, and Roberto Diablo), some of the same faces are at the mics for most of this disc, bringing expected clashes at times and assonance at others. It all works together pretty well, as in preceding albums, and what's experimental never strays anywhere it doesn't belong. On a side note and to get this out of the way it is, to my understanding, that no one at any point in the history of the universe has ever compared Mushroomhead to Slipknot (or vice-versa), and that will not be done here for the vocals or otherwise since it is a pointless, impossible comparison- not unlike contrasting twinkies and choco-tacos.
The big time compliment and criticism that can be given to this album is stacking it up against Korn's Untouchables, a sordid, sweet release that shares one significant problem that also plagues Mushroomhead's 2014 venture here. The Righteous and the Butterfly is, as a whole, a pretty unbalanced package, with some songs possessing absolutely incendiary focus and swagger but the others.... not so much. The second track "How Many Times," fuels the senses in the best of ways with its jungle-evoked percussion and sudden rampage of tempo, with the fourth track, "Qwerty," keeping the appetite whetted with its simplistic pleasures via this steady, keyboard-plodding sound mixed with the simple, aggravated lyrics ("I HAD A BAD DAY/ WITH HER ANGEL'S WINGS/ I HAD A BAD DAY"). There's variation enough leading up to "Graveyard Du Jour" on track twelve, whereupon you're then pretty much done. It's easy to pick out a couple of songs from the line-up that quickly become favorites in your head but the others take more time before their style and messages sink in.

There's a tough, obvious truth to face with this album that comes from Mushroomhead having a twenty year history at their back: they are competing against themselves. If
these infernal men had come into existence as an act only a few years ago with less notches in their belts then the Overton window would be much more favorable for what is here. But with a span of two decades in tow these men have left quite the mutated trail in their wake, a living creature floating through the air, emanating from speakers and sound systems everywhere. Expectations come into being when you hear increasingly honed content from an artist, and while the anticipation is satisfied in part with The Righteous and the Butterfly you can't help but feel the gaps where they exist- lyrically, instrumentally, and conceptually. They've done better than this and will probably do better on future releases.

These guys don't give a crap what anyone thinks about their music and there's plenty to be said for that. There are embers of promise and it depends on each listener to determine if the message and sound burst into flames on your senses the way you want them to. For me it never quite gets past 3rd gear in terms of overall momentum and I notice it more with every completion of the 13 tracks.

Dedicated to John "JJ" Sekula and Vanessa Solowiow, friends of the band, give this album a few listens, and definitely scope out the fantastic, sprawling cover art, (measuring out to 2 1/4' feet when unfolded!).Then, flip back through the years and get more acquainted with the really good material Mushroomhead pumped out so you can judge for yourself where you think this album falls in the hierarchy of their discography.
And now I must cheat.

As tempting as it is to stop here and lock up the coffin for The Righteous and the Butterfly while I was looking up lyrics online I came across a quote at from grande-rock.com (interviewer was a fellow named "thanos") that gave me a better insight into what Jeffrey Nothing's thinking is, in this case for the role of the internet when it comes to music and the world as a whole:

"People don’t go out anywhere near as much. They can’t function or be themselves without a keyboard to hide behind. A Rock Concert was the epitome of a social event. Now a chatroom is. Everyone being something they’re not. It’s sad. I hope things change before listening to Music is sitting alone with a pair of headphones."

That whole interview was quite good, to give credit where it is due, and I would encourage others to seek out the rest of it. And though that snippet of the response concerned primarily the web and the cloying effect it can have in destroying the communal and hindering the elements of the agora found in live shows it spoke to me about the rest of the album. Now the core emerges of what this message sounds to be: isolation, estrangement, frustration, a changing world that is devolving--when everything around you is becoming a sort of societal sloth and corruption thickens into a crust of filth that can't be avoided. Or so the subject matter struck me as potentially being such. Again, it's turf Mushroomhead has been over before, but with far more emphasis on the desolate this time around.

It's not that it takes effort to enjoy the The Righteous and the Butterfly so much as it takes a certain attitude to appreciate the content for what it is. If you are fed up with the world and seeking to find a disc that might help navigate that pit of aggravation that can be life then you've come to the right stronghold of music. Mushroomhead dedicated this album to two of their beloved, and while it may be lacking in certain respects it is certainly in possession of edges and notions worth examining.

Personnel: Jeffrey "Nothing" Hatrix (clean vocals), Jason "J-Mann" Popson (harsh vocals, rap vocals), Waylon Reavis (harsh vocals, clean vocals), Tommy Church (guitars), Ryan "Dr. F" Farrell (bass), Steve "Skinny" Felton (drums, percussion), Robbie "Roberto Diablo" Godsey (percussion, water drums, drum technician), Tom " Shmotz" Schmitz (keyboards, samples), Rick "ST1TCH" Thomas (turnables, samples, electronics, percussion, water drums).
Tracks: Our Apologies, How Many Times, Devils Be Damned, Qwerty, Portraits of the Poor, Childlike (feat. Mikel "Jus Mic" Mahoney Jr.), This Cold Reign, We Are The Truth (feat. Jackie Laponza), Son of 7, For Your Pleasure, Worlds Collide, Graveyard Du Jour, Out of My Mind, Rumor Has It (Adele cover).

Robert Gojo


Monday, February 2, 2015

Additions to the Northeast Ohio Music Collection, January 2015

Latest Additions to the Northeast Ohio Music Collection at the Hiram College Library

As usual, we’ve been busy adding more CDs to the library’s collection.  Here are the latest ones that were never reviewed in Buzzard Tracks.  For the entire list of what we added last month, check A Fistful of Music:  http://library.hiram.edu/index.php/publications/fistful-of-music

Pop/Rock:
The Forty Thieves.  Lion’s Den.  (Hard core rock from Akron)
Granicus.  Thieves, Liars, & Traitors.  (Psychedelic rock from the early 70s)
Doug Lebo & Dave Marko.  Things I Keep.  (Members of the band Blunt Force Trauma do a duo album of rock/Americana)

Folk/Blues/Gospel:
The Bergmann Brothers.  Fine Artiste.  (Tina Bergmann and Bryan Thomas, with hammered dulcimer, bass, and friends)
Alex Bevan.  I Have No Wings.  (NEO singer-songwriter/institution)
Pastor Melvin Duane Brown.  Grateful.  (Gospel music from Campbell, Ohio)
Dead Guy Blues.  Cold Wind in Cleveland.  (Jeff Powers and crew with electricity)
Joe Rollin Porter.  Troubles Just Like Mine.  (Singer of traditional folk songs)
Rio Neon.  Coffee Love.  (Folk/jazz group--highly caffeinated)
John Schmid.  Almost Bluegrass.  (Bluegrass gospel from this musician from Berlin, down in Amish country)

Jazz:
Joe Hunter/Dallas Coffey.  From this Moment On.  (The pianist and bassist are joined by a pair of drummers, Paul Samuels and Val Kent)

Nancy

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jim Fenske. Only Half the World is Bright.

Jim Fenske.  Only Half the World is Bright.


Mr. Fenske is a singer/songwriter from Cleveland, or perhaps Westlake, or Fairview Park (web pages refer to various origins or places of residence), and former guitarist with the band State Fair. In his current career he is a solo artist, preferring to work as his muse moves him.  This fascinating CD combines electronic music with elements of rock, ambient, and various other styles, which he combines in-studio to considerable effect.

I very much enjoy how Fenske integrates his music and lyrics.  His vocal style seems at first at odds with the music.  One might expect something smoother, higher, and perhaps a bit twee.  But his voice is slightly gruff, has a bit of a blues edge, but also slides across the top of the music.  He adds to his vocals with some echo and overdub harmonies. I feel as it I’ve heard it before, but I know that I have not.  The closest singers I can think of are David Essex, and at times Peter Gabriel, especially in his phrasing.

The mix of songs flows well across the album.   It seems of a single piece to me, although he probably wrote them at various times, which suggests excellent programming skills, and a consistent conceptual vision.  Many of the pieces are slow and somewhat intense in atmosphere, but not tense.  Rather, they are concentrated vignettes, each of which displays a different facet of his interests musically and lyrically.  There are several songs about love, but many other things concern him as well.  The opening track, “Violence,” suggests an mbira overlain by reed instruments, then joined by other percussion before speeding up to dance speed, with Fenske’s vocals arriving halfway through the song and ending with the fade.  The effect is mesmerizing.  My favorite track on the album is “My Enemy, My Friend,” a slow-to-mid-tempo loping track dominated by Fenske’s vocals in the foreground, both strongly percussive and drenched in harmonies. It has a strong, menacing atmosphere.  I shall not give a blow-by-blow description of each track, but suggest that each has unique qualities and emphasizes different sound effects and moods.  Sometimes he uses organ washes, other times broadcast voices, or occasionally horns, for punctuation.  Here and there, as with “Calm My Mind,” he uses his guitar, creating a song that seems most like rock music.  The closing track, “Safir,” is the only instrumental piece, and is simply lovely.

I normally listen to an album on more than one player.  This one sounded best on my laptop with headphones because of the separation of sounds.  I urge you to seek out this fine artist and become acquainted with his sound world.

Personnel:  Jim Fenske (vocals, electronics, instruments).
Tracks:  Violence; My Enemy, My Friend; Oceans; Separate; Evidence; Light a Fire; The Best Things, Least Expected ...; Calm My Mind; Safir.

Gottfried Klaas

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jason Vieaux. Play.

Jason Vieaux.  Play.
Azica, 2014.  Jason Vieaux:  http://www.jasonvieaux.com/

In a dozen albums over twenty years, and hundreds of concerts throughout the world, Jason Vieaux has shown that he is one of the finest guitarists around.  In terms of repertoire he ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and sometimes into jazz and pop.  Often, his albums have focused on a specific composer (Bach, Ponce, Piazzolla, Albéniz, Pat Metheny), but here he plays a set of short pieces across the spectrum of music.  We thought we’d talk about his latest album, Play, since Vieaux teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music (where he also studied).  Oh, and because the album has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

This album is a collection of showpieces selected from a wide variety of styles and composers, although Latin American and Spanish works predominate.  In the seventeen works here, only two composers show up twice, Agustín Barrios and Francisco Tárrega.  I don’t mind a bit, since I love Barrios’ music (by way of David Russell), and Tárrega is always a joy.  Vieaux brings out the wistful atmosphere of Tárrega while still remaining crisp and technically beyond reproach.  He continues the Latin American thread beyond Barrios through compositions by Sagreras, Brouwer, Lauro, Ponce, Bustamante, Bellinati, and Jobim.  This is indeed wide-ranging, across South and Central America, with the last two listed from Brazil.  I was particularly taken by the works by Bustamante and Lauro, which require a great deal of dexterous playing and sensitivity.  Tárrega’s Spain (although perhaps not his alone) is represented by pieces by Segovia and Sainz de la Maza.  The composition by French guitarist/ composer Dyens fits in nicely with this mix, and is a fun piece.

Vieaux brings in other materials to add different spices to the program.  The contemporary pieces by Andrew York and Stanley Myers contrast in style from the previously mentioned composers, and change up the atmosphere.  The Myers piece is the only one on the album I’m not so crazy about, but others may find it quite pleasing.  He finishes up with an arrangement of Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” which again, fits well with much of the feel of the rest of the album, but adds a jazz touch that is welcome as a closer.

Best of luck to Mr. Vieaux in his Grammy nomination.  This album is certainly deserving of such an honor.  I highly recommend it to all those who enjoy solo guitar music.

Personnel:  Jason Vieaux (guitar).
Tracks:  Jongo (Paulo Bellinati), El Colibri (Julio Sagreras), A Felicidade (Antônio Carlos Jobim (arranged by Roland Dyens)), “Cavatina” from The Deer Hunter (Stanley Myers), Capricho Arabe (Francisco Tárrega), Sunburst (Andrew York), Danza Caracteristica (Leo Brouwer), Tango en Skai (Roland Dyens), Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Francisco Tárrega), Las Abejas (Agustín Barrios), Estudio sin Luz (Andrés Segovia), Vals Venezolano No. 3 (Antonio Lauro), Misionera (Fernando Bustamente (arranged by Jorge Morel)), Por Ti Mi Corazon (traditional Mexican (arranged by Manuel Ponce)), Zapateado (Regino Sainz de la Maza), Vals, Op. 8, No. 4 (Agustín Barrios), In a Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington (arranged by Jason Vieaux)).

Jeff Wanser

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Earls of Leicester.  The Earls of Leicester.
Rounder Records, 2014.  Jerry Douglas:  http://www.jerrydouglas.com/

We reviewed Traveler, Jerry Douglas’ last album, a while back, and he’s been a busy boy since then.  Between the Warren native’s Transatlantic Sessions series with Aly Bain (If we can afford them all, we’ll review the lot), his triple dobro work with Mike Aldridge and Rob Ickes, his session work with various folks, and who knows what else in the last couple of years, he seems unstoppable.  Here he has assembled a group of bluegrass and Americana giants to pay tribute to Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys.  A more traditional project than we might expect from Douglas, this still makes sense.  These musicians were all profoundly influenced by the original sounds created by this dominant bluegrass machine of the 1940s-1960s.  Heck, Johnny Warren is the son of FMB fiddler Paul Warren, so as Ronnie McCoury, who provides the liner notes to the album says, “It’s in the genes.”  

This album contains fourteen tracks, but it seems like less.  The music just flows, and it’s easy to get lost in.  All tunes are from the FMB catalog and they’re all familiar if you’re a bluegrass fan, but they’re not necessarily the usual songs one might expect.  No “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” or “Cumberland Gap” (much as I’d like to hear them).  In fact, not a single tune here is found on the classic Complete Mercury Sessions album, but the FMB catalog is a deep one, and they had plenty of choices.  There’s not a single clunker in the batch here, and the band is tight and expert at every turn.  They bring forth the sound of the FMB, but don’t just reproduce it.  These guys are of a different generation, and while their hearts can be found in the most traditional of bluegrass styles, they can’t help but make the sound a bit more modern.  The arrangements are slightly different, the vocal harmonies a bit updated, their playing influenced by so many changes in music since the FMB were making music.  Of course, the recorded sound is top quality.  They sound traditional, but their playing and singing is influenced by but not restricted by the gentlemen they revere.  Shawn Camp is a fine vocalist for this project, and every musician is to be congratulated on his contributions.  

If you’re searching for classic bluegrass, you won’t go wrong with this album.  Jerry Douglas has done a spectacular job of putting together this tribute.  I’m just not sure why they chose their band name.

Personnel:  Shawn Camp; (lead vocals, guitar), Charlie Cushman (banjo, rhythm guitar, lead guitar on “Who Will Sing for Me”), Jerry Douglas (dobro, vocals, producer), Tim O’Brien (vocals, mandolin), Johnny Warren (fiddle, bass vocal), Barry Bales (bass, vocals).
Tracks:  Big Black Train, Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down, I’ll Go Stepping Too, Till the End of the World Rolls ‘Round, Dig a Hole in the Meadow, Some Old Day, I Won’t Be Hanging Around, I Don’t Care Anymore, On My Mind, You’re not a Drop in the Bucket, Dim Lights, Thick Smoke, The Wandering Boy, Who Will Sing for Me.

Jeff Wanser

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Strange Familiar. The Day the Light Went Out.

The Strange Familiar.  The Day the Light Went Out.
2014, Krian Music Group.  Strange Familiar:  https://www.facebook.com/thestrangefamiliar


This band is doing pretty well. They have their own Wikipedia article and everything.  Maybe it has something to do with getting airplay on The Vampire Diaries and other TV shows, with a lot of buzz afterwards.  Not bad for a couple from Cuyahoga Falls (pronounced “Cahoga” for you foreigners) who started out in the band Jaded Era (Leyden and Andrea, and geez, they’ve been together since grade school!).  Along the line, they picked up Freeman and Sainato, also from the area.  After Jaded Era, off to L.A. in 2006, and boom!  Well, maybe not quite that fast, but you get the drift.  


Readers of this blog (are there any?)  (Editor’s Note:  Yes) who liked the band that our editor just reviewed (Editor’s Note:  Wire & Wood, by Rambler 454) probably aren’t very fond of the kind of the pop/rock that The Strange Familiar are known for, although maybe I’m stereotyping (Editor’s Note: Yes, yes you are).  What we’ve got here is a nice batch of piano-led rockish pop songs.  Not candyass stuff, just good solid material.  I like it.  Some of it reminds me of Carole King. The tunes are catchy, the harmonies are cool and dreamy (I’m thinking overdubs, but maybe not), and the mix of voices and instruments are something you can get lost in, in a good way.  Yeah, it’s TV-ready stuff, but that’s not a bad thing, since it’s not venue that matters, it’s quality.  Some people work this style in a crappy way (see American Idol, any season), but others know their stuff, and these people really do it right.  From the lyrical perspective, it’s pretty much all about love and life and perseverance, but if I’m looking for political statements or deep philosophy I’ll probably be listening somewhere else, like punk or art rock.


Some of these songs already sound strangely familiar (Editor’s Note:  I left this bad pun in; forgive me).  I think they’ve already been on TV or got heavy radio airplay, but I can’t remember.  The first song, “Painkiller,” is one of them.  Good solid tune, and the closest to a rocker they have here, other than “And I Wait,” also excellent.  The title track was inspired by a sunset in Denmark, so they get around.  Lots of ballads, which are fine by me, and the more I listen to the album the more I get into it, and the songs seep into my brain.  Okay, I’ve waited to the end of the review to tell you that I love Kira Leyden’s voice, and that’s all I’m going to say.


Personnel:  Kira Leyden (vocals, piano), Jeff Andrea (guitars), Frank Freeman (bass), Nicholas Sainato (drums, piano, percussion).
Tracks: Painkiller, Gone, Rain, Surrender, Except to You, Lies, And I Wait, The One, We All Fall Down, The Day the Light Went Out.

Ron Yoyek

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rambler 454. Wire & Wood.

Rambler 454.  Wire & Wood.
2014, Danny McMusic.  Rambler 454:  http://www.rambler454.com/


How do we describe this Cleveland band?  The group is currently a four-piece bar band, with strong ties to Southern rock, Heartland rock, country rock, blues rock, and other time-honored styles of musical heritage. They like to refer to their music as “Drinking Man’s Rock.”  They make me thirsty, so this could very well be true.  This is their fourth album by my count, and it is an entertaining one, delivered with high octane guitar, bass, and drums, alcohol-soaked vocals, and good humor.


All the songs are originals, and so it is more difficult to compare them to other bands (covers make this easy), although George Thorogood, the Black Crowes, and Son Volt come to mind, as well as the more local Lords of the Highway.  In ten tracks they cover the assortment of topics you might expect them to lyrically, from love, to drinking, lifestyle, playing music, and having fun.  Every song is uptempo--no ballads to be found--and even mid-tempo is rare, except at the beginning of a few tunes, and no song tracks longer than four minutes.  Vocals are generally pretty good--you expect Pavarotti?--and entirely appropriate to the style of music.  Their best qualities are the strong rhythm section, vital in this kind of music, and some fancy guitar work peeking out here and there in solos.  A good example is the break in “Red Wine and Whiskey,” where I hear a bit of Allman Brothers.  The song also features a funny ending with the drummer leaving before the tune finishes.  Head bopping favorites include “Must Have Been a Good Night,” “Charleston Early,” and the title track.  


If you’re expecting art rock with synthesizers, look elsewhere, but if you want to listen to a fine, tight bar band without actually going to the bar, this album might just be the thing.  The band keeps its Facebook site more up to date than their web site, but the website gives more information.  Check out future concert dates.


Personnel:  Dan McCoy (guitar, vocals), Tim “Cooter” Brennan (bass, vocals), Jason “Jesse” Linder (drums), Rick Pflueger (guitar, vocals), Samantha Fitzpatrick & Greg Markell (backing vocals on Track 8).
Tracks:  Charleston Early, Blank Pages, Such a Shame, Something in the Water, I Think I Love You too Much, How About Me, Red Wine and Whiskey, Must Have Been a Good Night, I Ain’t Much, Wire & Wood.

Wansdog

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gaetano Letizia & the Underworld Blues Band. Voodoo Doll and Other Blues Lessons.

Gaetano Letizia & the Underworld Blues Band.  Voodoo Doll and Other Blues Lessons.
Letizia Music, 2014.  Gaetano Letizia:  http://www.gaetanoletizia.com/
Underworld Blues Band:  http://www.underworldblues.com/

Older veterans of the Northeast Ohio blues/jazz scene, the Underworld Blues Band describes itself as a “progressive” blues band that came together in 2010. The star of the show is guitarist/singer Letizia, but the core of the group is both Letizia and Larry Keller, along with newcomer and/or replacement Steve Renko (Mike D’Elia is listed as the drummer on the website).  Letizia has decades of experience, with multiple bands going at once (his jazz trio with some other guys, as well as solo work).  This background is reflected in the sophisticated stylings and the varying combinations of blues, jazz, fusion, funk, and other stuff in the dozen tunes presented here.  While they often play standards in concert (Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and others), here they’ve chosen to present a dozen originals.  No credits on songwriting show up, but I suspect that Letizia was involved in most if not all of them.  On this album the core group gets some help from Jake Tijerina on keyboards, which adds both depth and breadth to their sound.  

The band starts off the album with a funky blues instrumental, which does a nice job of showing off their collective and individual talents.  Letizia’s guitar gives way at the halfway mark to solos by Tijerina on organ, Keller on bass, with a bit of time at the end for Renko on drums.  The other instrumental, “Orange Sunglasses,” is in more of a jazz vein, less high-octane, but another fine showcase for the musicians.  Letizia’s guitar can be gentle or blistering, pinpoint or fuzz-heavy, depending on the mood, but in all cases demonstrates truly fine playing.  Kudos to Tijerina, as I love the organ in this context, and his work is phenomenal.  The title track is a humorous excursion into the singer’s pecadillos and the rectification of the situation through magical means.  It’s here where an alternative meaning to “progressive” starts to appear, with lyrics beginning to eschew the traditional bad boy and misogynist talk of so many blues songs.  “Kill My Conscience” is in a similar vein, with the singer wrestling with desires vs. doing what’s right.  “The Devil is a Nice Guy” offers a bit of parody, and “Sold My Soul” presents a similar theme of compromised values, but in a more serious context.  The good vs. evil theme seems to follow through quite a bit of the album, and provides a lyrical context a cut above most blues songs in sophistication.  Surrounding the lyrics is some dynamite jazz/funk/blues by all involved.

“Hurt Myself” takes us back to a more basic blues sound, with Bobby Huszar on vocals, who reminds me a bit of Jon Hendricks (of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross fame).  The mood continues to change through the second portion of the album, with “Bleed” and “All I Need” lean more towards rock, although the latter contains some sweet acoustic guitar work by Letizia.  Curiously, “Blow the Blues Away” seems more rock than blues as well, while “Torture Me’ is back to the blues, and fits thematically better with material at the beginning of the album.  Blistering solo work by Letizia continues.  The group finishes up with a jazzy pro-Cleveland anthem, complete with monologue, that doesn’t sit quite right with the rest of the album from my perspective, but would certainly go over well in concert.  

This is a fascinating album, with Letizia and the band to be congratulated on their sophisticated musicianship and enjoyable songs.  They play around the area, so catch them when you can.

Personnel:  Gaetano Letizia (guitar, vocals), Larry Keller (bass guitar), Steve Renko (drums), Jake Tijerina (keyboards), Bobby Huszar (lead vocals on “Hurt Myself”), Ro Brown (background vocals).
Tracks:  Big Foot, Voodoo Doll, Kill My Conscience, The Devil is a Nice Guy, Sold My Soul, Hurt Myself, Bleed, All I Need, Blow the Blues Away, Torture Me, Orange Sunglasses, Big Secret.  (Track listings for “All I Need” and “Bleed” are reversed on CD)

The Grand Wazoo