Planet Full Of Blues review…Saturday, May 17, 2014…

PLANET FULL OF BLUES

HARD LANDING

SELF-RELEASED

BIG MOUTH–SO SPECIAL–MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY–OPEN YOUR EYES–BUSBOY–I HAD A DREAM–BIG BRIGHT LIGHT–SUNDAY DRIVE–FELT LIKE A TOURIST–SNAKE LADY–SHUGRUE SHUFFLE

With a home base down on the southeast coast of Virginia, Planet Full Of Blues is a serious power trio that creates a huge sound that is steeped in classic blues-rock with an ear toward today’s progressive sounds. Johnny Ray Light has that emotive, evocative vocal delivery that fits right in with his guitar playing.  On bass is Ron Dameron, and drummer Brock Howe rounds out the trio.

Their sophomore effort is entitled “Hard Landing,” and, for this one, the fellows motored west to Memphis, perhaps to soak up some of that city’s soul-blues ambience, but definitely to work with iconic producer Jim Gaines at Bessie Blue Studios.  Their material is all-original, and these eleven cuts rumble thru your soul like a runaway locomotive.

The party starts with a Grateful Dead-ish intro to “Big Mouth,” as Johnny Ray laments the reason he loses so many friends, because he’s unafraid to speak his mind, regardless of the outcome.  Food may be a metaphor for “other things” in “Mashed Potatoes And Gravy,” as Johnny warns his lover “you shouldn’t mress with this big man’s food!”  The fellows take a curious look at the after-life in the Byrds-like  jangly pop of “Big Bright Light,” while Johnny’s wailin’ slide takes center stage on the roadhouse boogie of “Snake Lady.”

We love the band’s guitar-fueled rockers, tho, and, with one exception, those served as our favorites.  A man who’s “not in love but I feel like I am” also “Feels Like A Tourist” in his own home!  And, “Busboy” has our hero getting fired from this job for “not smiling enough,” but, it leads him to take up guitar and become a rock star  “Open Your Eyes” is not a rocker in this vein, but it’s a great song with some on-point  social commentary.  The song urges us all to “put prejudices away,” and “take this place and make it better!”

Planet Full Of Blues is a breath of fresh air with their emotional, topical songwriting, powerful delivery, and outstanding all-around musicianship.  “Hard Landing” is a set well-worth hearing!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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