Like the sound of Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Steve Miller? Read on….
13 tracks / 50 Minutes
(Lucky Bag Records)
As soon as this disc started with “Karma” it made me think of Atlanta Rhythm Section’s “Spooky.” The track has that same laid-back mood and golden mellowness. Its airy, funk-flavoured organ helps to capture that vibe and, as the track builds, Quiett raises the adrenalin level with some impassioned soloing.
Much credit for the five-tock sound must go to producer Jim Gaines. Given his work with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana and Steve Miller (on Fly Like an Eagle, no less), you can imagine the warm, creamy tones that he brings out in the recording. There are moments when everything pauses to let that tremendous tone hang gleaming in the spotlight.
Adding keys to six of the generous thirteen tracks, he gives this trio a full band feel when necessary – but without overfilling the sound.
Quiett’s playing is what this blues-based disc is really about, though. His solos are strong and emotional enough to lift songs that might otherwise be taken or left. At times, he will fill with a lick that is straight from Hendrix’s less distorted moments.
Halfway through, he puts in a solo performance (“Judgment Day”), accompanied only by a resonator guitar that seems directly connected to his heart and brain. This tasty chunk of blues is so soulful that it can take a few listens to realise that there is nothing else supporting him here.
He takes the resonator into the start of “The Woodsman” until his full band smashes in as swiftly as a chop from the woodsman’s falling axe dismembering a wolf’s head. But as the wolf is a metaphor for a cheating lady, this is a darker tale than it might first appear... Quiett’s vocals are reminiscent of Paul Rogers here, his guitar snarls menacingly and there is a middle section close to the one in “Radar Love.”
Bassist Aaron Underwood and drummer Rodney Baker read Quiett’s breaks and re-starts telepathically. Nearly every track (and especially “You’re My Kind”) has a hip-hoppy step to it, or in the case of “Pound of Flesh,” a strut.
Most songs are about woman trouble and deceit, and Quiett’s character seems to play his part in the duplicity, but as the disc progresses, he spots the “Signs of Decline” in his life and tries to turn around. So it is good at the end (“Close to You”) to have a song of dedication and commitment.
Those who like Jeff Healey and Robert Cray – and of course, Steve Miller – should find this well worth playing.
Download: Karma, You’re My Kind, Judgment Day, The Woodsman, Fool’s Gold.