Storm Cellar review…July 4, 2013…

STORM CELLAR

HIRED GUNS AND BORROWED GLORY

BLACK CROW–TEXAS ROSIE–SAME OLD BLUES–SUIT YOURSELF–EVEN IN A LIFETIME–WINE TO WATER–ROAD RISE UP–COUNTRY RADIO–LIGHT IN THE DISTANCE–HARD TIMES–SHEE KEEPS YOU MOVING ON–SWEET AS PIE

 

Storm Cellar is a group of lads from the inner west side of Sydney, Australia, who began their musical careers as a result of the burgeoning folk/blues/roots scene going on in that part of the country.  Their latest album is entitled “Hired Guns And Borrowed Glory,” and is a soulful and scintillating amalgam of twelve cuts that encompasses a little bit of all their various influences.

 

Storm Cellar features Michael Barry on vocals and harp, Paul Read on slide, mandolin, and bass, Michael Rosenblatt on additional guitars, and Theo Wandlers on drums.

 

This album is a real musical journey thru several genres’.  The curtain opens with a brooding, slide-and-wah-wah-guitar-driven tale of “every glory” that comes “with a price,” with the omen of the “Black Crow” always lurking nearby.  A love affair headed for the rocks finds Michael’s paramour begging him to stop “givin’ me those Same Old Blues,” with a fine slide barrage at the bridge.  “Suit Yourself” and “Even In A Lifetime” are guitar-filled slabs of pop that recall the early-Seventies heyday of The Eagles  and James Taylor.  “Road Rise Up” and “Texas Rosie” are delightful tales of traditional folk, and “Country Radio” uses an echo-effect vocal and traditional instrumentation to elaborate on how the fellows wind down after a long day.

 

There were several cuts that exposed a darker, bluesier side of the band.  “Wine To Water” features a fine male-female duet, reminiscent of the Buckingham/Nicks collaborations of their pre-Fleetwood Mac days.  “Light In The Distance” and “Feel So Blue” channels the blues-rock of Jeff Healey or Luther Allison, while what has to be the band’s autobiography is “She Keeps You Moving On,” alluding to the lure and the power of the music, “walking beside you on a road that never ends.”

 

The fellows didn’t forget their Delta roots, either.  “Hard Times” exist in every society nowadays, and this harp-and-guitar tale of “the future I’m choosin” sounds as if they’ve listened to a lot of the works of the Mississippi masters.  The set closes along the same vein, with “Sweet As Pie” being a bittersweet reminder of the music of John Cephas and Phil Wiggins, as Michael spins the tale of a lover with a wandering eye, who “doesn’t tell me what she don’t want me to know.”

 

Storm Cellar are planning a stateside tour in the coming months, and it’s a sure bet they’ll pick up the best of both worlds.  Their Americana influences will appeal to fans of the Avett Brothers, Mumford And Sons, and Zac Brown, while their blues background will carry a lot of clout with older fans.  “Hired Guns And Borrowed Glory” makes for an excellent start for their U. S. shows!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

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