Monday, May 23, 2011

Just My Luck reviewed by Mark Thompson

Just My Luck
Terry Quiett Band
Lucky Bag Records
13 tracks/49:53

There are plenty of releases flooding the market due to the inexpensive costs of manufacturing a release on your own, without the backing of a record label.  The internet has provided a wealth of opportunities to promote your product without spending a fortune on advertising. The difficult part for serious fans of any musical style is how to navigate your way through all of the recordings to find the ones that are worth your time and attention.

One listen to this new release from the Terry Quiett Band will be all it takes to let you know that this is a special recording.  The leader handles the lead vocals and guitar with Aaron Underwood on bass and Rodney Baker on drums.  Keyboard help comes from Rick Steff and Beau Jarvis. Bringing all of the pieces together is the legendary producer Jim Gaines.

The all-original program illustrates Quiett’s skill as a creative songwriter.  The tight rhythm on “Some People” frames Quiett’s urgent vocal while the swinging tempo of “Work for It” shows the lighter side of the leader’s guitar work. “Big Man Boogie” is a shuffle with an attitude and rocking guitar. The ominous tale of a lover’s betrayal on “The Woodsman” opens with acoustic slide guitar before the band kicks in and Quiett switches to electric guitar for a frenzied solo that mirrors the anguish in his singing. 

The up-tempo bounce on “Karma” is a launching pad for more energetic guitar from Quiett as he hopes to be there when the tables are turned on his ex-lover. Another highlight is the brooding “Judgment Day”, with Quiett going solo on a resonator guitar, his voice crying out a warning about the future. “Pound of Flesh” features ringing guitar chords and a strong beat from Baker.  Quiett lays out the heavy price to be paid for missing the “Signs of Decline” in his relationship.  “You’re My Kind” features a Hendrix-like riff as Quiett works hard to impress a member of the opposite sex. And “Getting Through to Me” has a strong blues influence with more stinging guitar. Quiett dials back the energy on the closing track, “Close to You”, his voice pleading for the attention of his love interest.

Quiett’ songs and vocal tone often remind me of Jonny Lang, if Jonny had continued to explore the blues/rock mixture on his initial recordings. The songs hold your interest, the guitar work is consistently satisfying and Quiett’s vocals breathe life into his ruminations on life. He has a knack for writing lyrical phrases that you’re your attention. What more could you ask for – a disc to be savored.

Reviewed by Mark Thompson

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