New Blues Revolution review…March 26, 2016…





Helendale is located halfway between Victorville and Barstow, CA, in the Mojave Desert.  The New Blues Revolution changed the name of this town for their latest effort, a five-song EP titled “To Hellendale And Back.”  The band describes itself as the place where Robert Johnson joins forces with Quentin Tarantino and Pink Floyd, and you can listen and draw your own conclusions!  The musicians on board are Bill Grisolia on vocals, Chap Cooper on guitars, Roger Beall on drums, and Bob Burns on the bass.  We’ll say this—it is one wild ride on the blues train!

The opening two cuts, “Souls On Fire” and “Whiskey Town”  use a haunting groove and buzzsaw guitars to convey a message of dealing with personal demons, excesses, and their consequences.  Adding to the vibe is Bill’s vocal, which sounds like the voice Robert Johnson might’ve heard down at the corner of Highway 61 and 49!  “Baby Blue” brings the surf-guitar sounds of “Pulp Fiction” into the tale of the dangerous mix of youth and lust, while the set closes with “Sunset Psycho Twang,” an eerie, wind-swept instrumental that would’ve served as a great soundtrack for Moses and the Israelites on that forty-year trek thru the Egyptian desert.

Our favorite was easy.  A song that has all the elements of every Bond film and all the episodes of “The Man From U. N.C.L.E.”  deals with that mythical, mystical, mysterious “Black Widow,” a woman “well-known from Detroit to Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur,” and our hero’s obsession with tracking her down.  Any minute, you expect OddJob’s bladed derby to come flying outta nowhere, and, obviously, this one MUST be shaken, not stirred.

New Blues Revolution is just that—this is waaaay more than three chords and a cloud of dust.  With “To Hellendale And Back,” they fulfill their credo–to hit hard, dance bravely, and paint the music bold!    Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

One response to this post.

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