2016 – Lucas Haneman Express
By Phillip Smith; Mar. 04, 2017
Tearing up the Rails, the sophomore release from Ottawa, Ontario-based Lucas Haneman Express is a savory fourteen track platter of blues-rock with a slightly southern flavor. Heading up the band is singer/songwriter/guitarist Lucas Haneman, who received the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award at the 2005 Ottawa International Jazz Festival. Accompanying Haneman to round out the quartet is vocalist Megan Laurence, drummer Jeff Asselin, and bassist Martin Newman.
Steve Marriner from MonkeyJunk, lends his harmonica prowess to “The Verdict”. This track oozes with swampy bluesy goodness as Marriner and Haneman go toe to toe. Marriner also appears, harp in hand on Brian Adam’s “Run to You”, another terrific track. It sounds so different recorded as a blues song. There’s no rest for the wicked, when the band breaks into Steppenwolf’s psychedelic hit “Magic Carpet Ride”. Leaving a smoking trail of rubber on the track, they take this one on going full throttle. Haneman’s searing hot guitar makes for a standout performance. I love the relaxed Steely Dan vibe Haneman brings to “Waiting at Your Door” with his smooth jazz approach. “Storybook Love” is plumb mighty too, boasting soulful vocals from Haneman, who guides the song from a slow southern sway into a ferocious intensity.
Tearing up the Rails is a well-crafted album of poignant lyrics, rich melodies and tight performances. It’s a great album to sink ones teeth into. It has definitely sunk its teeth into me.