Damon Fowler review…February 5, 2014…

DAMON FOWLER

SOUNDS OF HOME

BLIND PIG RECORDS  BPCD 5157

I THOUGHT I HAD IT ALL–SOUNDS OF HOME–TROUBLE– SPARK–OLD FOOLS, BAR STOOLS, AND ME–WHERE I BELONG–GRIT MY TEETH–ALISON–TV MAMA–DO IT FOR THE LOVE–I SHALL NOT BE MOVED

Damon Fowler has been a busy young man of late.  As well as spending much of last year touring with JP Soars and Victor Wainwright in the band Southern Hospitality, he did find time to record his third solo project for Blind Pig.  This one is entitled “Sounds Of Home,’ and it pulls together eleven cuts that mix fiery originals with eclectic covers that you might not connect with a bluesman, but Damon pulls it all off with flair.

This set was recorded at Tab Benoit’s home studio, with Tab producing.  The laid-back atmosphere brought out some of Damon’s best playing, and his original tunes herein can stand alongside anyone in contemporary blues.  The leadoff cut is a prime example.  Damon’s slide is at the forefront of the tale of living one’s life to excess, where “I Thought I Had It All, but All had me.”  Big Chief Monk Boudreaux adds vocals on the swampy funk of the title cut, and it’s a safe bet that Damon and Tab have rocked a roadhouse or two in their day, and they join forces to bring that live-show energy to the rockin’ blues of “Spark.”

Damon also changes gears just a bit to give a smooth cover of the Declan McManus chestnut, “Alison, my aim is true,” and closes the set with a breath-taking fingerpicked version of a traditional gospel tune, “I Shall Not Be Moved.”

Damon’s guitar virtuosity is unparalleled on this set, and two quite diverse cuts served as our favorites.  Something that’d be right at home down at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is the reverb-drenched story of those “green and blue bottles that came between you and me,” “Old Fools, Bar Stools, And Me.”  And, Damon’s lap steel prowess is on full display with the gospel fire of “Where I Belong,” effectively  capturing that Allman Brothers ‘love is everywhere” vibe.

Damon Fowler continues to impress with his killer guitar chops and his spot-on, maturing songcrafting.  “Sounds Of Home” serves as his best set to date!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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