By Phillip Smith
From the Pacific Northwest, in Walla Walla, Washington, Robin Barrett and company deliver another bounty of Blues with Nasty Habits and Dirty Little Secrets, the Coyote Kings follow-up album to Move. Writer and lead guitarist, Barrett, is joined by vocalist Michelle 'Mush' Morgan, bassist Kit Kulhmann, drummer Emilo Cabrales and keyboardist Doug Scarborough to create another saucy album of earthy electric Blues composed of eleven new original tracks.
With Mush on mic., the crew breaks out with a fun jam on title-track, “Nasty Habits & Dirty Little Secrets”. Barrett throws down a catchy funk-infused riff that has a way of burrowing itself in one’s head like a Ceti eel from Star Trek II Wrath of Khan. I could almost hear the band having fun recording it.
“Baby’s Gone”, a stand-out favorite is a melancholy lament about lost love and contemplations of suicide while holding on to a desire to live. This heartbreaking song features fantastic guitar licks, and vocals from Mush so sad and lovely, it left me a little on the heavy side with emotion.
Another slow tempo contender for best song is “Afternoon Sun”. Barrett handles the lead vocals on this one and handles it quite well. I enjoy the mellow space it creates very much. The combining elements of piano, vocal harmonies and lyrics remind me a lot of Phish, one of my favorite bands. This one plain and simple, puts a smile on my face.
A perfect song to chill out to, ‘Walking in the Fog’, is one of the best new instrumentals I have heard this year. Hands-down fantastic, Barrett plays it soft and slow, in the way one would actually walk in a fog. I would love to hear an entire album of instrumentals of him playing guitar like he does on this one.
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