17th Street Band

By A.J Wachtel
May 2015

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There are a lot of things to like about this fun CD; First, the band is just red hot. I dig how all the songs start off a bit starker, but by the end of the first verse, they REALLY kick in; and the performance just takes off. By the end of the cut the energy level is much higher than in the beginning. This is really cool and very noticeable; and the way a well written, well performed tune should naturally progress. And while Blues may be the common denominator on this release, the music goes in other directions too.

Second, Lead vocalist, harp and slide guitarist Tom Walbank has a very versatile, powerful, expressive and passionate voice: and the group, Darryl Roles on drums, Harvey Brooks playing bass and singing vocals, Tom Kusian on guitar, Dustin Busch on Lap Steel/Guitar, and Arthur Migliazza tinkling the keys, does a fine job supporting him and driving the sound; as he wails. growls, lectures, preaches and reminisces.

And last, the choice of songs is well suited to best showcase the group's cohesion and tightness. From Blues ballads like "Right Track" (Brooks,Kusian & Walbank), shuffles "Look Over Yonders Wall" (Elmore James), Chicago Traditional Blues "5 Long Years" (Eddie Boyd), and"Midnight Got Me Cryin' (Brooks, Kusian & Walbank), with the nice harp opening; to the Bo Diddley-ish "Shakin' The Dust" (Walbank & the band), Folk/Pop Ballad "Same Mistakes" (Brooks), the Boogie Woogie Swing of "Sing Sing Gramps" (Walbank & the band): and even the more Americana hard driving version of Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues"; this band kicks ass from beginning to end. Harvey played with Miles Davis, The Doors, Jimi and on Dylan's original version of the song. Great stuff. Blues, Rock and Soul music with Swing and Americana influences.

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