Monday, September 15, 2008

Daylight at Midnight reviewed by Mark Thompson

Daylight at Midnight
Travis "Moonchild" Haddix
Earwig Records
10 tracks/39:22

Haddix is not a household name despite the fact that he has thirteen recordings to his name. The Mississippi native will soon be 70 years old but you would never guess it when you hear his latest effort. As the lead singer, songwriter and handling the guitar solos, the focus is squarely on Haddix's shoulders and he is up to the challenge.

Time has weathered Haddix voice, darkening the tone and giving it a rough-around-the edges quality without sapping its strength. It is perfectly suited for slow blues tunes like "Backward Baby," which finds Travis taking a humorous perspective on the breakup of a relationship. When the band breaks into a funky strut on "You Kind of Fool," Haddix voice swells with righteous indignation.

Most of the tracks have a medium tempo groove. The backing band is more than adequate and includes a four piece horn section. Haddix can still coax plenty of fine sounds out of his guitar, whether it's bending a note for all it's worth or laying down fast single-note runs that rival guitarists half his age.

Haddix melds elements of soul with blues and ends up with a sound that may not be original but is definitely worth checking out. As Haddix quotes in the notes, " I am the best I can be -- and since no one else can be me, there's none better."

No comments: