Sky King review…January 22, 2014…

SKY KING

MOROSE TALES FROM THE LEFT COAST

BLOWIN SMOKE RECORDS   SKCD-201

POOR HOUSE–INSIDE OUT–HOLLYWOOD–CAN’T SEE NOTHING GOOD–OXNARD/CAHUENGA–BLUE SKIES–WAITIN FOR MY BABY–LIVING THE BLUES–FOREVER–GET ALONG LOST GIRL–I’M GONE–LATE NIGHT PHONE CALL–ALONE

Out of the clear blue San Fernando Valley of Southern California comes Sky King, a band that will remind many of groups such as Pacific Gas and Electric and Tower Of Power, who combine a struttin’ horn section along with the standard guitars, bass, and drums.  Their debut is entitled “Morose Tales From The Left Coast”‘ and it’s a real barn-burner!

There are thirteen original cuts herein, all written by lead guitarist Walter Morosko.  Joining him are lifelong friend Garth Farkas on rhythm guitar, with Fuzzy Knight on bass, Chris Ross on drums, Lee Thornberg on trombone Jimmy Z on sax and harp, and JT Thomas on keys.  These songs all deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday living and “just gettin’ by,” with that thread of eternal hope that things have got to get better in a little while.

Walter has one of those growling, blues-perfect voices, and the arrangements on these cuts run down the blues-rock path, with touches of soul and funk for good measure.  Leading off is the tale of a man so far down that his house “has no ceiling, no floors, no walls and no doors,” making him one of the many victims of today’s ecomomy who feel they are trapped in the “Poor House.”  The horns ride over Walter and Garth’s guitar lines, keeping this one grooving along.  “Hollywood” paints a picture of a city so big that it merely has a population instead of people, who are all just “part of the crowd.”  A surreal guitar, flute, and keys intro and outro seeks out a brighter day, where the answer lies “up above, in the Blue Skies.”    The set closes with the poignancy of “Alone,” where Walter  laments “I’m just a broken man lookin’ for a place,” and seeks divine direction.

We had two favorites, too.  A hellhound-on-my-tail slide permeates Walter’s story of choices and their subsequent consequences in “I’m Gone”‘  Brush-stroked drums and muted trumpet kick off the band’s foray into the jazzy swing of another hard-luck story brought on be the challenges of life, aptly-titled, “Living The Blues.”

Sky King strives to bring the feel of their live shows into the studio, so listeners can enjoy the music the way it was created.  “Morose Tales From The Left Coast” does just that, thru the band’s passion for their music and their consummate musicianship!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

 

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