Damon Fowler review…August 16, 2018….

DAMON FOWLER

THE WHISKEY BAYOU SESSION

WHISKEY BAYOU RECORDS WBR 7737

IT CAME OUT OF NOWHERE–FAIRWEATHER FRIEND–HOLD ME TIGHT–UP THE LINE–AIN’T GONNA ROCK WITH YOU NO MORE–JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE–POUR ME–HOLIDAY–RUNNING OUT OF TIME–CANDY–FLORIDA BABY

Tab Benoit started the Whiskey Bayou Records label with artists such as Damon Fowler in mind.  We’ve been fans of his work since his solo albums for the Blind Pig label, and thru his work with the Butch Trucks Freight Train Band, and his collaboration with keyboard man Victor Wainwright and guitarist JP Soars in the blues “supergroup” Southern Hospitality.”  All his works are punctuated by his unprecedented guitar work passionate vocals, and mature songwriting.

With Tab producing down at the Whiskey Bayou Studios in Houma, LA, Damon gives us fans perhaps his best, and surely most versatile album to date, with the eight originals and three covers that make up “The Whiskey Bayou Session.”  Over the course of this one, you get a taste of all Damon’s influences, including rock, blues, roots, and gospel, and Tab draws some inspiring performances from this young bluesman.

The fun hits you like a 2 X 4 right between the eyes with the funky-good “It Came Out Of Nowhere, and it came from you!”  Damon and the band step into a sweet Little Walter groove for “Up The Line,” while both Damon and Tab pooled their writing talents for the slide guitar stomp of “Ain’t Gonna Rock With You No More!”  The slide here is indeed a beautiful thing to listen to.  He closes the set with another tune co-written with Tab, the laid-back, summery groove of “Florida Baby,” a cool nod to Damon’s Southern Hospitality days.

We had two favorites, too.  “Hold Me Tight” has been around a while, written by Johnny Nash.  (Extra credit for any of you REAL old-schoolers who can remember the Score Hair Cream commercial from 1970, featuring The Four Jets–Don Maynard, Jim Turner, Bake Turner, and Matt Snell–from the Super Bowl III-winning New York Jets!)  Anyways, Damon plays it with just the right touch of twang, filling the chorus with some mighty fine pickin’.  And, Damon knows a thing or two about Sunday morning down South, with some incredibly-sweet lap steel on “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.”

Admittedly, Damon Fowler had a tough time coming to grips with the sudden death of his friend and mentor, Butch Trucks, and it seems he has found the perfect outlet for his feelings throughout the grooves of “The Whiskey Bayou Session.”  As such, he has crafted a spirited set that includes excellent guitar work, soulful vocals, and powerful originals.  This is what makes Damon one of the most exciting players on the scene today!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

One response to this post.

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