Dan Bubien review…November 21, 2013…

DAN BUBIEN

EMPTY ROADS

DAN BUBIEN MUSIC  (Self-Released)

EMPTY ROADS–FIGHT CLUB–CRAZY DAYS–EXILE BLUES–TO YOUNGSTOWN–BROTHER–DIZZY EYES–IRONY–KEEP LOVE IN MIND–LOVE GAMES–SNIPER

Growing up in Aliquippa, PA, Dan Bubien embraced more than just the hardscrabble, blue-collar blues of his homeland.  He also enjoyed funk, soul, reggae, and even Motown-ish R & B to give his repertoire a well-rounded vibe.  And, he incorporates virtually all his influences over the course of the eleven cuts that comprise “Empty Roads,” Dan’s debut CD.

Altho his father was a lifelong musician, Dan did not pick up the guitar until a sports injury during his youth sent him to the sidelines.  Add to that his incredible passion for songwriting that shows him able to always get his point across while not afraid to have a bit of fun along the way.

The set kicks off with one of our favorites, a serious shot of blues-rock that’s sure to evoke memories of vintage Little Feat, the title cut, “Empty Roads.”  Dan channels his softer, soulful side with sweet R & B-fueled cuts such as “Irony,” “Keep Love In Mind,” and “Crazy Days.”  “Dizzy Eyes” rides over a Latin, horn-drenched backbeat as Dan calls out the lies and deceit of an addict, knowing that those “dizzy eyes never lie.”

There’s plenty of gritty, tough blues, tho, for the hardcore fans.  Dan’s dobro over Timmy Mabin’s piano and Chris Nacy’s harp all accentuate the slightly-naughty lyrics of the shufflin’ “Exile Blues,” while “To Youngstown” is a sweet shot of pure Delta blues.  “Love Games” is an infectious dance-floor burner punctuated by a killer slide solo, while the set closes with the country-blues story of a somewhat-misguided stalker, “Sniper.”

Hands down, tho, our other favorite was “Fight Club,” which gets up offa its collective thang and funks up everything in its path, complete with staccato sax breaks throughout from Eric DeFade.

Dan Bubien’s intentions were to cover a broad spectrum of music, and “Empty Roads” achieves this goal.  It is the Western PA Blues Society entry into the Best Self-Produced CD for the 2014 IBC’s in Memphis.  His musicianship as well as the overall eclecticism of this set bodes well for its chances within the competition!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

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