As I took a step back to go over my review I realized I kept repeating myself. Excellent guitar work. Love the tone. Bloody slide heaven. Man, this guy can play. Whoa, rewind…let’s listen to that solo again.
Put Johnny Winter, Chet Atkins, Muddy Waters, Ry Cooder, Jimmy Page, and some originality in a blender and puree for forty-four years and the resulting mix gives you Paul DesLauriers. But there is more to it than that. I mulled over why I was so impressed. How is the guitar given the chance to stand out yet not be overbearing? Sam Harrisson and Greg Morency are the answers to those questions.They compliment DesLauriers like no others could.
It’s like a fine bottle of scotch upgraded to a Glenfiddich 50 year old special single malt. From A to Z the timekeepers have it covered and stand out in their own right. As I gave tracks a rerun there was always a bass run or a crescendo or a strike on a crash that was so slight yet perfectly done.
I recently did a review praising Deep Purple’s latest release “Now What?!” which was released eight years after their last studio effort. The Paul DesLauriers Band’s latest self-titled release has ‘suffered’ the same positive effect. DesLauriers’ last studio effort of this type was ‘Ripping Into Red’ dating back to 2006, an
exceptional release in itself. Morency explained that ‘Ripping Into Red’ was a collection of ideas that DesLauriers had already penned and pretty much had the song construction in place and was a Paul DesLauriers album. It covered an array of musical styles ranging from blues, rock, to folk. On the contrary, this contribution is a band effort with all three musicians bouncing ideas off of each other during the writing process. The longtime collaborators partnership is reflected in the newly minted name of “The Paul DesLauriers Band”. The power trio presents a musical direction more focused on the blues.
The upshot in the gap between releases is an explosion of pent-up ideas unearthed in the studio. And don’t let the studio aspect fool you. This offering has a total live feel to it and as the liner notes declare it was “recorded live off the floor”. Although DesLauriers, Harrisson, and Morency have been involved in outside projects and have different musical outlets, their true love is rocking the blues. The trio has gigged abundantly over the past ten years and in the process has gelled as a unit. That is evident with this release…and I tell you what; I love the way they rock the blues.
From l to r: Sam Harrisson, Paul DesLauriers, Greg Morency.
The opening track “Going Down Slow” is a quintessential offering of a blues rock song. The riff, the hook, the harmonica nestled in the mix, the bass line backing up DesLauriers vocal “I can’t do most anything” are flawless. This is how you kick off a disc. “She Should be Mine” is a fine example of slide guitar right from the first note to the last. Definitely one of my favorites after the first play through. As much as I’m keen on a good thrashing guitar solo the opposite can reel me in as well. “Labour of Love” is a mid-tempo song which has the band quiet down in the last minute and ease through with some awe-inspiring guitar work. Mellow but what a touch. There’s even a little chuckle at the end, as if to imply “Yeah, nailed that one” or perhaps it’s in reference to the lyrics.
Nobody’s Fault but Mine starts off with a slow and heavy beat and was recorded with that double neck Gibson DesLauriers is fond of playing.