Waydown Wailers review…July 3, 2018…

WAYDOWN WAILERS

BACKLAND BLUES

WOODSTOCK RECORDS  WR62

BACK DOOR WOMAN BLUES–I WANT YOUR SOUL–DONE SOMEBODY WRONG–ANOTHER BUMP IN THE ROAD–NO MERCY–DIZZY MISS LIZZY–EVERY PASSING MILE–SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE–I’M ON THE HUNT–STATE OF THE UNION-REMIX—LOVER OF THE BAYOU

Nestled in the “Backlands” region along the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York is the town of Canton.  Known for generations for its progressive, forward-thinking settlers throughout history, that town also serves as the home base for the Waydown Wailers, and serves as the catalyst for the title of their latest album, “Backland Blues,” for Woodstock Records.  This eclectic offering has eight originals and three choice covers, with siblings David and Christian Parker on guitars and vocals, Connor Pelkey on bass, and Scruffy Scriminger on drums.  The set was produced by the keyboards man, the honorable “Professor Louie” Hurwitz.

The songs run the gamut from rock to blues, with elements of The Byrds, and the jam-band leanings of the Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers.  The party starts with the juke joint stomp of that woman who’ll be your honey as long as you got some money, “Back Door Woman Blues,” featuring the Professor on piano.  A pulsating slide riff drives “I Want Your Soul,” while “No Mercy” draws on the rich heritage of the Dead thru its extended solos.  “Another Bump In The Road,” again with the Professor on the keys, follows the trials and tribulations of our hero who’s always a day late a dollar short.

The fellows take a look at both sides of the current political coin, too.  “Somewhere In The Middle, closer to Jesus, is where you’ll find me” is in direct opposition to the scalding “State Of The Union-Remix,” where, as far as faith and hope are concerned, “I haven’t seen that yet.”

Our favorite has been around a long time, even longer than us!  Written by Elmore James, the slide-guitar leads and grungy backbeat gives “I Must Have Done Somebody Wrong” a sweet new sound as the fellows recount the story of how “the bell just tolled–my baby caught that train and gone.”

The Waydown Wailers refer to their music as “outlaw jam,” and, given the free spirits of the earliest settlers in that region of New York, “Backland Blues” mixes blues, rock, and jam-friendly grooves into one potent musical potable, indeed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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