John’s Blues Picks September 2015 – MonkeyJunk Moon Turn Red
MonkeyJunk “Moon Turn Red” (Stony Plain/Warner) | www.monkeyjunkband.com
Steve Marriner, Tony D and Matt Sobb really rock out on this new one. The slide-driven opener “Light It Up” shows all the cards: high energy, fast-paced and loaded with fresh ideas, these guys are going to have a good time and they’re going to take you with them. “(It’s) You” and “Show Me Yours” keep the party going with very different but equally danceable songs – a delightful sequence. “Show Me Yours” is especially noteworthy, with its catchy chorus. They wanted to do a David Wilcox song, “Hot Hot Papa”, and why not then ask the fellow Stony Plain artist to join in? Wilcox trades verses with Marriner and the three come up with some hot hot guitar work. A live performance, without Wilcox, is at www.monkeyjunkband.com. They always do funk particularly well and ” Love Attack” is excellent.
Up until “Live Another Day” we’ve gotten guitars, bass & drums and some harp on some fairly standard blues themes. This ambitious song features keyboards and studio effects to enhance its social commentary: amidst all the world’s troubles you have to find something that will allow you to live another day. There are fine solos on harp and guitar. “Learn How To Love” is a power ballad and it’s a good one, of life after a breakup. We’re back to rocking for “Lucky One” and the slightly slower “Travelin’ Light”, and then a closing soul tour de force in “Meet Me At Midnight” – gorgeous guitars and organ support Marriner’s powerful vocal on a stunning tune. What a way to end the disc. Big Sugar’s Gordy Johnson deserves special mention for his contributions on guitar throughout.
This band just keeps getting better, the official release date is September 25th but I’m sure you’ll hear some of the new tunes at the Southside Shuffle on Friday, September 11 and at the Music By The Bay show in Ajax on the 18th.