Sunday, July 24, 2016


There's a big difference between loud and loud but melodic. The DesLauriers Band never sacrifices tunefulness despite pumping out some of the best goes-to-11 numbers in the Canadian blues-rock scene. Paul DesLauriers is a shattering lead guitar player, capable of filling almost every moment he's not singing with fiery solos, especially on showcases such as Stewtro Rock (Just Got Back) and Still Under My Skin. But never, never, is it just noise and volume; there's always a fine song going on there as well.

All three members of the Montreal group have been recognized as among the very best at their instruments in the country. Greg Morency took home the 2015 Maple Blues Award for Bass Player of the Year, DesLauriers won Guitar Player the year before, and drummer Sam Harrisson has been nominated as well. The talent is immediately evident on this set, with the rhythm section providing a huge and relentless bedrock, allowing DesLauriers to go explosive on top. Uncluttered by guest players and extra instruments (too much of that going on these days, I find), you can sit back and follow each player, and really get an appreciation for the playing here. The cut We Just Might is intense and rocking from start to finish, and I almost gave it a standing ovation in my living room the first time I heard it. My cat thinks I'm weird.

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