By Scott Gudell
If you sift through the ashes of the band Street Level, Alan Murphy’s mid-2000’s band, you’ll find a few musical hints of yesterday showing up here and there on his brand new outing with Rochester rockers, The Mighty High and Dry. There are still hints of the driving R and B and funk that bubbled to the surface on that disc from a few years back, but for the most part, this is a new chapter…a new book.
The new project draws its inspiration from classic rock bands such as the Stones and Neil Young, and updates everything with shards of the Black Keys, as well as a few well chosen ripples of Americana through the lens of groups such as The Doors. It’s a confident disc that keeps things moving forward from “Shine,” the opening track to, well, “Shine,” a reprise of the opener at the end of the disc. The next few songs strut Motown, blues, and straight ahead rock, while maintaining a churning, aggressive sound.
Of the 14 original songs, there are a few standouts. including “Shine,” an infectious, upbeat cut; “Trust Me Brother,” with its nod to Richie Havens, and “War is It,” an aggressive in-your-face blast of rock. From its salute to such classic acts as Steely Dan and Graham Parker (“You Ain’t Ready”), to its gut bucket blues (“Snake”), the collection succeeds overall.
Once you realize that there’s consistency as well as variety, you’ll find yourself wondering what the next track will reveal. Grab a copy and find out. It’s a fun ride!
Editor’s Note: The Mighty High and Dry is gearing up for performances celebrating the release of their new disc in August. You can catch one of the upcoming shows at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, on August 2.