Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dan Treanor and Jack Hadley - Brothers Blood and Bone (n/a, 2007)

This is a blues album with harmonica player and guitarist Treanor and guitarist and vocalist Hadley joining forces. The album starts out in a promising way with a rootsy back porch feel, and the musicians enthusiastically performing time honored blues themes on "Hard Luck Child" and "I Wish You Would," culminating in a fine harmonica fueled version of the old standard "Help Me." Things begin to break down a little bit towards the middle of this disc, where some of the original material lacks the punch of the more traditional works, such as the title track "Brothers, Blood and Bone" which preaches a noble sentiment of brotherhood and unity but fails to back it up with the music, relying on pale pop oriented accompaniment . Similarly, "It's a Blues Thing" falls back on tired lyrical cliches which slow the momentum the group had built in the beginning. Things are buoyed a little bit at the end with the addition of some thoughtful pacifist lyrics in "The War" and the tag ending to the traditional "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean." Overall, this is a mixed effort. WhileTreanor and Hadley have the best intentions and enormous respect for the music, it is their versions of standard material that provide the highlights of this effort. Stronger songwriting may provide the key to a more consistent next effort for this duo.

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