Thursday, June 3, 2010
Album Review: John Nemeth, Name the Day!
Artist: John Nemeth
Title: Name the Day!
Writer: Rick Galusha
Like a breath of fresh air, the ‘soul resurgence’ movement has gurgled up and onto the radar of most blues music fans. Recently Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings helped bring the movement to a wider spectrum of fans via’ a nice spread in the USA Today newspaper. Along with James Hunter, Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Darrell Nulisch, Lou Pride and Tad Robinson; John Nemeth has been an up and coming act within a genre popularize by the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Aretha Franklin.
Since his signing with Blind Pig Records back in 2006, John Nemeth has sat atop a powerful publicity machine creating awareness and fan adulation across the blues spectrum. Nemeth has been nominated numerous times for a Blues Foundation Award.
On his latest album, ‘Name the Day!,’ Nemeth’s music leans hard into a traditional blues sound with a heavy R n’ B feel. His harmonica playing is featured throughout this groove laden album. Of the albums eleven tracks, ten are written by Nemeth. The album also includes a cover of Otis Blackwell, “Home in Your Heart.” Blackwell is perhaps best known for having written songs made famous by Elvis Presley, “All Shook Up” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”
While the album is good, the associated hype is elevating expectations beyond delivery. This is an above average national recording by a hardworking and respectable artist but within the genre Nemeth’s songwriting and arrangements simply do not deliver as well as others. Perhaps the great allure to Nemeth’s career is his willingness to “sell” the entertainment and a diehard road dog attitude by playing every venue on the map with equal zest and vigor. In a genre amid re-growth Nemeth’s aggressive ‘take it to the listener’ work ethic is clearly paying off…and so it should. It is my speculation that his best album is in front of him. In the meantime ‘go with the flow’ and see this artist live and in a venue near you.