Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jon Strahl Band - Heartache And Toil - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Heartache and Toil, from Jon Strahl Band and it 's a cool, gritty blues rocker. Opening with Hey Yeah, All Right a snappy but grimy blues number with great vocals and overdriven guitar tones from Strahl, solid bass work from Mitch Millhoff, simple drum rhythms from Nick Mallers, keys by Bill Mallers, and the addition of Joshua Silbert on sax, Bruce Knepper on trumpet, Charlie Krone on trombone, this band is is on its way. How Long sounds like a page right from the Mississippi hill country blues notebook. With it's simple, driving rhythm and guitar/vocal melodic lead, this track is terrific. With more of a jam approach on title track, Heartache and Toil, the band shows blues and jazz influences. An extended, all clean and rich guitar lead, Strahl leaves no question that he has chops. R&B ballad, The Weight I Feel shows Strahl's influence from yet another base and his voice lends itself nicely to this soulful effort and the warm vibe of Bill on organ leads nicely into a melodic guitar solo by Strahl. Wrapping the release is Indiana Moonrise featuring Strahl on straight up acoustic guitar, finger picked clean and bright. Excellent closer for a real solid release.

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