Juke Box Gypsies
Here’s a band led by Megan Kane, who sounds a bit like Janis Joplin reincarnated. I’m not going to perform detailed vocal analysis, but you will agree the sound is VERY similar in both tonal quality and emotional rawness.
Opening track “Peace, Love, Rock N’ Rollin’” throws a high-energy wall of hard rock up and over the room, and it grabs you fast and holds on tight. Soon enough we slide to track two. “Count Your Dollars” backs us down from 11 to 9.5, yet still puts us on our feet and looking for our Bic lighter. Lyrics tend to offer a slightly muddy feel, and we hear a quiet drum solo, if such is musically possible. It’s now track three, and here the energy dissipates somewhat, and Ms. Kane drops the metal back up and tosses out a plaintive vocal lament. Sure, it’s a standard broken-heart cryfest of a guy gone astray, and you, too, miss that old guy and his endearing bad habits.
Backing up Kane, we have an excellent drummer, Dylan Turner, who makes the cover of the album, and there are a few additional musicians creating a rich backing sound: Manning Feldner (guitar), Alex Bender (guitar) and Michael Beckhart (bassist). I like their vibe, and “Throwing Stones” takes an eerie female chorus and turns it into funky blues number by building a tall tower of sound.
Kane returns with a dark, dirty blues riff, and what’s a blue song with out a train? Her “Long Black Train” may not be the classic steam engine pulling old men playing cards to New Orleans, but the spirit remains: this is your only way out of town if you don’t want to walk.
That’s the blues, Bucky. Run, thumb, or die. And bring a guitar or a blues harp if you got one, it will get you as far as you need to go.