Grab some iced tea and meet me on the front porch, ‘cause we’re gonna relax and listen to Southern Hospitality’s new CD, Easy Livin’. With its origins stemming from an impromptu jam session following a blues festival in Florida back in 2011, Southern Hospitality is comprised of guitarist JP Soars, lap steel guitar master, Damon Fowler, and keyboardist Victor Wainwright. Easy Livin’ is undeniably a Southern blues concoction, which is comforting and somewhat intoxicating. The guys all contribute their song writing skills to the making of the album. Both, the opener, “Southern Livin’”, and the closer, ”’Sky is What I Breathe” is credited to all three. “Southern Livin’” is such a cool song, and like Southern living goes, it takes its time and is in no hurry to get anywhere. And I absolutely love “Sky is What I Breathe”. It’s such a beautiful song about remembering our connection with nature and our responsibility to keep it sacred.
If one is going to dedicate an album to southern hospitality, you have to have at least one song about drinking. “Kind Lies & Whiskey” is that song. Written by Fowler, this country boogie draws a bright spotlight of attention to his keyboard skills. While we have the menu out, you have to order up the ‘Fried Neck Bones and Home Fries”. The guitar on this Latin instrumental written by Willie BoBo is so very reminiscent of Carlos Santana. Can I order an album of instrumentals from Soars and Fowler for desert?
The album as a whole is good, but there are a couple of questionable tracks. ‘Come Back Home’, a Jerry Lee Lewis style rockabilly track would be more at home on the American Graffiti soundtrack. “Funny” lyrics, boogie piano, and the whistle make “Mile After Mile” more suitable for the Dr. Demento Radio Show than this album. Not that there’s anything wrong with Dr. Demento, I have a great lot of respect for him. That being said, there are ten other songs that are quite good and at times outstanding.
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