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CD Review -- Damon Fowler

DAMON FOWLER

 Sugar Shack

Blind Pig Records

Damon Fowler CD 

By Dave Glynn

 

Damon Fowler’s latest CD, Sugar Shack, kicks off with a fun little romp called “Some Fun”.  This song sets the tone for a clean, stripped-down effort that has the same spirit as Little Village (John Hiatt’s supergroup of the early '90s) and NRBQ.  Fowler’s light, raspy vocals and deliberate rock ‘n' roll guitar run through several little diddies that’ll make you smile and tap your foot. 

 

I especially like the second cut, “VFW” which features the line “the old man is out on the town”.  The song has Nick Lowe written all over it and you can just picture the guys in the VFW hall dancin’ with the young chickies (the gals 60 and under). 

 

There a few somber tracks on this CD like “I Hope It’s Gonna Rain” and “James”; the latter song is a stand-out track. The fact that these particular songs are surrounded by his more humorous songs makes them all the more dramatic.

 

Fowler provides a sincere delivery to his songs that makes the listener very accepting of him.  Nothing is overplayed, even when the leads go off the track - in a good way (e.g. “I Hope It’s Gonna Rain”).  I was impressed with the minimal instrumentation on the album that reinforces some solid songwriting and showcases his guitar playing.  Damon plays a variety of guitars and guitar styles on the album - electric slide, straight-ahead distorted blues, dobro and acoustic.  There’s a variety to the tracks but also a consistent sound throughout.

 

The project is well-produced by Scott Cable, a former sideman of Carey Bell who has also produced Kenny Neal, among others, for Blind Pig.  The clean, straight-ahead capture of this album is perfect for Damon Fowler’s style and clearly showcases his talents.

 

Damon has talent as a writer with a sense of humor.  And his taste in covers on the CD, which include Merle Haggard, Billy Joe Shaver and the Amazing Rhythm Aces, lend well to his styles. At just under 30 years old, this kid has a lot to offer and more to go.

 

About the reviewer:  Dave Glynn is the leader of the Empty Can Band found at http://www.emptycanband.com.  You can follow Dave’s tweets on Twitter.com as @guitardone. Dave is also the PR co-chair for the Blues on the Fox Festival  http://www.bluesonthefoxaurora.com. 

 

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