Tuesday, January 3, 2017
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: JOHNNY MAX BAND - ROADHOUSE SOUL
Sometimes all it takes is one line to make an album fun. In this case, it's when Johnny Max sings, "She makes John Lee Hooker go boom, boom, boom." There are plenty more like that on the new Johnny Max Band album, but that gives you an idea of the good-time feel the group doles out. Max has a warm, jovial voice, with some Leon Redbone lowness, but still very tuneful. The music's upbeat, with Rob Gusevs' keyboards and Kevin Vienneau's mandolin adding lots of brightness.
They can rock as well, again heavy on the good times, as the title track shows. Co-producer Vienneau proves to be a big and brash lead guitar player on this track that echoes classic B.T.O. But they can turn it around and get introspective and soulful too, on Lend A Helping Hand. As usual, Max is playing all over Southern Ontario in all his various groups and gigs, but there are some special album launches with the JMB coming up, all listed at the johnnymaxband.com site.