CD review: BLACK SATIN BLUES
By: Dan Brisebois
If Stevie Ray Vaughn, Billy Gibbons, and Jeff Healey had all lived in the same house, their neighbours would have been Texarillo. Consisting of Dwane Rechil (ex Top Johnny) on guitars & vocals, bassist Ricardo Bacardi, and drummer Ken Loudmann, the Montreal band was formed in 2010. Their debut album, BLACK SATIN BLUES, roars with energy, slick production, and a rocking blues vibe that doesn’t stop.
“I’d Rather Get Shot Down” is the ideal launching pad for this ride to the music stratosphere, and along with other hard shuffle rockers like “Flood Water Rising,” “Fire Starter,” and the double-time boogie instrumental, “Hill Billy Idol,” this is easily the smoothest and cleanest blues/rock album you’re going to hear this year.
The writing and playing is tight, and the swing in “Elevator Operator,” “Let You Down Easy,” and “The Things I Would Do To You” make you wonder just how far down the road Colin James or George Thorogood lived down the street, as well. This isn’t to say they’re not original – far from it – it’s simply very evident the band knew what they were looking for and hoping to achieve with the album. They nailed it on all levels.
But BLACK SATIN BLUES is anything but not versatile, and even the slower tempos in “24/7 Blues” and “Long Way From Loving You” ooze passion and conviction – like using a new paint brush on an old-style blues canvas. “Wanna Go Down To Cali” was apparently written by the ghost of Muddy Waters. It follows the typical ‘My baby left me’ feel of the blues, with a twist – the tale of doing time in prison and all you can think of is wacking the bitch that put you away.
But just when you think you’ve got them pegged as simply a superb rockin’ blues mix, “The Devil Is Knockin'” throws in a guitar lick straight from a Motorhead catalogue. And the beefy bass riffs in “Stone Cold Heartbreaker” are the perfect balance to the Delta-styled intro and ballsy guitar work.
The album has an amazing live off the floor feel to it. Close your eyes and you instantly envision a smoke-filled bar room full of people on the dance floor and having the time of their lives. Every song has balls and its own appeal. There simply is not a weak track on this album, and several are outstanding. You’ll no doubt have your own favourites.