Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Indigenous leans into the storm

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Artist: Indigenous
Title: Indigenous

(The orange cover Silvertone Records)

Down but never out, Indigenous have finally fired their shot at the big-time by releasing their first major label album.

Gurgling under the radar of rock's mass audience, Indigenous have been leaning on the cliff of success awaiting a nudge to push them from barroom brawlers to a bonafide arena act. By this point in their career the band should be releasing albums that are statements rather than a hodge-podge of tracks: this album totters between brilliant rock melody lines (You Turn My World Around) to poorly executed platforms for guitar solos (What You Do To Me). For me, throw your eggs now, Jimi & Stevie suffered from the A.D.D. focus on writing and an over reliance on stunning guitar abilities. Much like 'Things We Do' the band teases the listener with GREAT songs only to fall back on filler tracks (albums with fewer tracks would solve this problem). Granted I still expect this band to release a definitive rock album. However on this album Indigenous delivers an album that has at least three excellent singles and half-a-dozen very strong tracks.

This is no turd on the lawn.

During a period when acts play-it-safe, Indigenous self produces their debut with the help of (future) brother-in-law(s) Jesse and Robin Davey a/k/a The Davey Brothers. Replete with the modern 'hard rock' sound, Indigenous makes a bold move from the sedate blues-rock genre of aging baby boomers to the younger, tougher rock crowd. Interesting they whip out, ''Shame, Shame, Shame'' by the legendary Jimmy Reed as if to say, 'hey, we're still down with the blues' and as Led Zeppelin was so capable of doing with other's songs, Indigenous converts this old standard to their own lexicon. Lyrically cliche themes haunt Mato's lyrics which center on distance and missed opportunities at love. Missing is a vocal delivery that demands the listener's attention. As ever, the band does not rely on the studio to over-sell their sound and therefore over-deliver live.

Opening the album with a cover from the Davey Brothers previous band, The Hoax, "C'Mon Susie" has benefitted from sporadic commercial radio airplay. Not an over-powering single, the track was able to land the back into the mainstreams vision line. Finally radio seems to be getting hip to laying groundwork for long term success.

It's not till the second track that the teasing begins. Surging with power ''You Turn My World Around'' swings with a lopping beat set off against a second guitar part and driving drums resulting in one of the finest modern-blues songs I've heard. Seeming to lean into the "storm", guitar player Mato Nanji attacks with a zeal rarely seen from the usually stoic leader of the band. Always capable I think the band lacks from external influences more than skill or desire.
Interestingly the band's designer hair cuts and high profile photographs alter the image but maintains its soul and swing. Drummer Wanbdi swings harder and with more confidence then previous recordings. Gone are the gush of notes in favor of tastier albeit fewer licks from central figure & guitar player Mato. Early on the band was heavily influenced by the music that interest their father Greg. As the band grew older, slowly, ever so slowly, other sounds crept into their world. Doyle Bramhall's production of their last effort, Circle, "Austin-ated" the band with easy Texas shuffles. And though the Davey Brothers have introduced the band to modern rock production, Indigenous maintains their core Fender sound. Matter-of-fact, there are numerous tracks on the new album that could have appeared on any number of prior albums.

If you're a fan of the band you are going to connect almost immediately with this new record. Will it draw in younger listeners? Since the rise of rap I can honestly say I have no idea what the kids are gonna dig. This is a consistent effort which is well recorded and executed. As usual they tread away from new ground in favor of well trodden turf; however, it strikes a note with me and I'm digging it.

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