Austin Young Band review…September 17, 2016…

AUSTIN YOUNG BAND

NOT SO SIMPLE

VIZZTONE RECORDS  VTAY-004

TAKE ME AWAY–BARREN ROAD BLUES–SOMETHING MORE–NOT SO SIMPLE–SETS ME FREE–HEAL MY HEART–LETTING GO–MOVING ON–MOUNTAINS ON FIRE–FREE–WHIRLWIND–ANGEL FLYING HOME

The Austin Young Band broke outta the gate hard and fast with their 2013 debut, “Blue As Can Be,” which was well-received by fans and bloggers everywhere.  They are back with their latest, “Not So Simple,” for Vizztone Records.  Austin is on guitars and vocals, with Alex Goldberg on bass, and Forrest Raup on drums.

This collection features more of their power-trio blues-rock with the emphasis on Austin’s guitar wizardry and maturing, soulful vocals.  All the songs herein are band originals, and Austin’s contributions show a more personal side to him as a composer.

Kicking off is the powerful story of a man who has that “stranger in my own hometown”  feeling, looking for “an angel to Take Me Away!”  “Something More” grooves with a strong New Orleans feel, over a punched-up horn section with the emphasis on more love and “lending a helping hand” where you can!  A couple more fine examples of this band’s grasp on the contemporary sound is the story of a lover who’s “the cure for all my blues” as she “Sets Me Free,” followed by a pure shot of Texas blues that would sho’ nuff make ol’ Delbert smile, “Heal My Heart.”

“Whirlwind” is a dazzling instrumental that straddles the line between blues and jazz, and bristles with the fire and passion that makes this band such a pleasure to listen to.  The set-closer served as our favorite.  This entire album was dedicated by Austin to his late father, Tim, who taught him the guitar as a youngster.  This last tune,  a somber, acoustic piece,  is both poignant and fitting, as Austin “just can’t let go of this Angel Flying Home.”

The Austin Young Band have crafted a set that will have broad appeal among blues fans.  Austin himself hopes this album  will bring joy in times of pain, and hope in times of despair.  “Not So Simple” is a highly-personal and well-written set of originals from a trio of young men on the rise in the blues stratosphere!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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