Mighty Orq review…May 23, 2016…

MIGHTY ORQ

LOVE IN A HURRICANE

CONNOR RAY MUSIC  CRM 1602

SWEET IN BETWEEN–FALLING DOWN–PACK IT UP–SAY IT WITH SILENCE–LOVE IN A HURRICANE–THE POSSUM SONG–CARRY ME HOME–YOU’RE IN LOVE (THAT’S ALRIGHT)–BIG BOAT–LET ME HAVE MY FUN–DEATH LETTER BLUES–CANNON BALL

Born Josh Davidson and raised in Houston, he was given the nickname “Mighty Orq” by fellow Texas bluesman Tony Vega.  Mighty, he is, indeed–he’s been on the scene for ’bout thirteen years, with six albums and an instructional DVD for slide guitar under his belt, and made it all the way to the finals of the 2016 IBC’s in Memphis.

Hot on the heels of that finish, he has just released “Love In A Hurricane,” showcasing both his maturity as a composer as well as his passion for blues, roots, and gospel.  His regular band is along for the ride, including Jimmy Rose on drums and mandolin, Terry Dry on bass, and Barry Seelen on keys and squeeze box.  He blasts outta the Delta night with his slide blazing, searching for “my Sweet In Between.”  He pays tribute to another great Texas bluesman, Freddie King, with the struttin’ “Pack It Up,” as his ex gets the heave-ho and is told “I’m gonna put you right outta my life!”  The title cut is a nice slice of Americana that traces the lives of a couple who fall in love as youngsters and weather all of life’s storms, “Love In A Hurricane.”  The sadder end of that spectrum is the poignant tale of unwise choices made and their lethal consequences, “Falling Down.”  Barry’s B-3 work is exemplary here, giving this one a strong blues-rock edge.

The set closes with another unique pair of tunes.  An eerie guitar thread adds to the feel of Orq’s take on Son House’s tale of “Judgement Day” and a deceased lover “layin’ n that coolin’ board,” “Death Letter Blues.”  To close the set outright, Orq uses a Weissenborn guitar for the quietly-pastoral instrumental, “Cannon Ball.”

We had two favorites, too.  His “Saturday night” leanings show up on the roadhouse boogie ’bout a good woman who’ll always “Let Me Have My Fun,” punctuated by Barry’s piano.  Moving into “Sunday morning,” there’s the Biblically-themed, surprisingly-funky message to be spread that “hope floats,” so “get on the Big Boat to get to the other side!”

It’s easy to see why Mighty Orq fared so well in the IBC’s.  He’s got versatile, original material, guitar and vocal chops second to none, and now,  a fine set, “Love In A Hurricane,” to back it up!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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