Friday, December 16, 2016
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: LUCAS HANEMAN EXPRESS - TEARING UP THE RAILS
Out of Ottawa comes this tight, groove-oriented blues-rock combo, with a modern sound focused on songcraft. Haneman has a particularly smooth voice, used to great effect on the easy ballad Waiting At Your Door. He can get gritty too, and with Jeff Asselin on drums and Martin Newman on bass, they prove themselves a powerful trio as well, plus Megan Laurence provides some strong backing vocals throughout, plus takes a stand-out turn as lead singer on Firestorm.
Haneman proves himself more than capable as a lyricist as well, and I don't think I heard a single blues cliche in the batch. Instead, we get interesting flows of words, such as "Does she ever wonder about the repercussions of those games she plays," in Storybook Love, more like a Jeff Buckley lyric. Plus, the band-written music is filled with imaginative parts, the songs going off in non-standard sections and interesting asides, places for the group to stretch out. As well, they win the prize for most imaginative cover versions, doing a full-up blues reinterpretation of Bryan Adams' Run To You (hey, it works, really) and an upgrade on Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride that turns it into a cool boogie. This is an inspired set.