Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Larry Lane - Broke & Lonely

Hear The Track Here

Although I didn't quite get on with Larry Lane's last track Amnesia (November 2006) there was more than enough going with the track to want me to delve further into this MP3 Unsigned rock artist. Where it scored with me was in production values and performance capabilities because - if I were honest - the song didn't really do a lot for me. Still that's often the way with rock music, sometimes it scores and sometimes it doesn't. I must admit that there is a certain strain of American rock that doesn't set me on fire, and Amnesia was partly a bit too American in taste. I do, however, love the blues especially when it's done well so that bodes well for Broke & Lonely which - surprisingly enough - is exactly that; a standard blues.

Having grown up with both the prime originators of the scene and their later (usually white) imitators, I've always had a healthy respect for anyone who can truly play or sing the blues. Not the pallid crap that is often served up as the blues these days but the real thing; as bloody and meaty as a T-bone steak and as hot as the Tabasco sauce that covers it. One of the prime movers in online blues music (at least that I have heard) is Mean Gene Kelton & The Die Hards, a Texas based outfit I first heard through Mike K's Saturday Night Rocks show on Songplanet. Sad to say that on that score although Larry certainly has the chops on this, he still has to go some way to getting that edge that makes blues really sing as it stings...

Still, that's not really being fair to Mr Lane, because Mean Gene are some big boots to fill, and Larry's blues is perfectly acceptable in its own right. Put it like this, I didn't outright condemn it (as I would probably in lesser hands) because Broke & Lonely has a lot of good things going for it. Rhythmically, it's right in the pocket - if a little laid back - but a certain laziness never harmed the blues. The sound and tone Larry gets on his lead work is - to my ears anyway - highly reminiscent of Eric Clapton circa John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and that reference should give you a clue to how authentic I actually think this track is. I know there isn't much of a field for decent blues in this electronic world but it's certainly filled well by artists of the calibre of the Mean Gene and - yes - Larry Lane. I doesn't exactly have the sweat and grit of true Southern blues but it sure sounds like the more modern version. More delta than dirty if ya know what I mean?

Recommended guitar blues with a modern slant.

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