Dan Baird - ‘SoLow’ (JCPL) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 04:30

Dan Baird - SoLow artworkI vividly remember when 'Keep Your Hands to Yourself' by the Georgia Satellites was receiving heavy airplay by MTV back in the ‘80s and wish I could say that I immediately became a fan. It would take until the Satellites third album "In the Land of Salvation and Sin" for me to come to my senses. After they split, Dan Baird released an impeccable album with quite possibly my favorite album title of all time, 'Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired.' His second solo album was good but did not match the solo debut at the time. I must say thought that 'Buffalo Nickel' has grown incrementally over the years. Since then, Dan has been releasing material with the Yayhoos, Homemade Sin, the Bluefields, and working with other artists like Chris Knight. All these years (21 of them) later we have his third solo album (since ‘Out of Mothballs) seemed more a collection of unreleased songs). 

 

Dan Baird and Homemade Sin created a classic a few years ago with 'Circus Life', which was one of my favorite albums of 2013. Dan has now topped it with this one and the new Homemade Sin album 'Roller Coaster.' (A review of it is coming shortly.) With 'SoLow,' Dan has released what I already consider my favorite solo album by him. 'Cemetery Train' explodes out of the gate and immediately grabs my attention. "Yeah, the guitar's screaming in the middle of the night" is the first line of the record and sets the theme for what is to come. 'Cemetery Train' has a catchy and wordy chorus that is supplemented with some excellent "move along, move along" backing vocals. Dan has a way of creating catchy songs that do not rely on simply repeating the title over and over again. Joe Blanton and Brad Pemberton both contribute the backing vocals on the album with Brad also providing the backbeat.

 

'Silver Baby' slightly slows the tempo and again features a strong hook on a classic rock n roll frame. This is one I have caught myself humming hours after listening to the album. 'She's With Me' is one of my favorites on the album. It highlights one of the great things about the album. The lyrics are easily relatable for those of us that have experienced a few more trips around the sun than some. A 20 year-old cannot write a song about being with your significant other for 25 years and the life challenges and happiness that comes with being with that person. The song is mid-tempo with excellent guitar touches throughout it. 

 

'Gotta Get a Move On' taps into the acoustical magic that the Satellites had with 'Another Chance.' More lyrics rooted in the nitty gritty of the ups and downs of life. 'Showtime' should get the live crowd dancing with an uptempo beat with a clever line stating he hopes "the opening band is someone you could stand." I dare someone to stay still while listening to this record. 

 

The album takes a darker turn with the slow groove of 'Look Away' addressing society in the American South. The lyrics paint a portrait for this epic 6 minute song. 'Naughty Marie' harkens back to a feel good Satellites romp with some old fashioned backing vocals tastefully added. 

 

 

'Get Whatcha Get' begins with a quick beat and immediately conjures images of trucks rolling down the highway. I have noticed a greater tendency for my driving speed to increase while playing this one. 'Say Goodbye' is another of my favorites with a song that celebrates all the years that have come before but with also an eye on the future. 'Lay It On Me' is another raise your glass and sing your tail off celebration song. 

 

'Won't Take Much' is a slower bluesy number with great guitar work by Dan and also showcases what an incredible production job this record has. Production on the album is handled by Baird, Blanton, and Pemberton. Every instrument is heard in the mix with the guitar licks sliding over the top. I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job than this; my hat’s off to Joe Blanton.  

 

Until 'Circus Life', I never envisioned Dan creating a better album than 'Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired' and now he has done it again. The depth and breadth of this record is awesome and highly recommended to everyone who enjoys classic rock n roll with a twang, deep lyrics, and hooks galore. I tip my hat to you Dan and will continue to tip it with my upcoming review of 'Roller Coaster.'

 

‘SoLow’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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