2021 – Landslide Records
Release Date: Mar. 26, 2021
By Phillip Smith; Mar. 13, 2021
I’ve been reviewing the music of Tampa, Florida musician Damon Fowler for almost eight years now. Whether playing with his own band, or with Southern Hospitality, the supergroup he was in with J.P.Soars and Victor Wainwright, Fowler continues to be a magnificent force to be reckoned with. His songs are compelling, his voice soulfully raspy, and his slide guitar is superb. Alafia Moon, his eighth solo album was coproduced by Fowler and George Harris (Cheap Trick, Rick Derringer, Brian Johnson – AC/DC), and features Chuck Riley on bass, Justin Headley on drums, T.C. Carr on harmonica, Mike Kach on keys, backup vocalist Betty Fox, and Josh Nelms in charge of background noise.
The record slides nicely into play with the swampy infectious goodness of “Leave It Alone”. The groove quickly takes ahold of me. The lush melody and beautiful arrangement on title-track “Alafia Moon” is a delight for the soul. Notes from the organ seem to linger in mid-air, as the cymbals crash, with Fowler’s passion-soaked vocals ringing out atop his spectacular guitar performance. I absolutely adore Fowler’s cover of Guy Clark’s fabulous story-telling song “The Guitar”. It showcases his finger picking expertise very nicely. “Some Things Change” is fantastic too. With killer slide guitar from Fowler fueled by the smoldering sounds of harp, the song definitely cooks. I dig the southern soul of “Wanda”. Its Stax-meets-Fame vibe is dressed to the nines in a happy, funky groove.
The album closes with a joined-pair of tracks starting with “The Umbrella”, a spoken word selection of Fowler telling a story from his earlier days on tour. His tale involves an encounter with a drunken fan in Prescott, Arizona, whose incessant request to hear the band play “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” leads to the final track on the album “Kick His Ass Out”.
Constructed around the four musical corner stones of blues, country, rock, and soul, Alafia Moon sets a new benchmark for Damon Fowler. It truly is an exceptional album.
For more information about the artist, visit this website : https://www.damonfowler.com
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