Paul DesLauriers is one of our most inventive guitarists. Firmly anchored by his rhythm section, DesLauriers’ multi-tracked guitars (often featuring his slide) form the backbone of a stunning new batch of songs for one of the hottest live bands around. Veteran Alec McElcheran has replaced Greg Morency on bass, although Morency is still on about half the album. The multiple award-winning Sam Harrisson continues on drums. The first half of Bounce is the most amazing sequence of love songs, all uptempo and wonderfully varied. “It’s All on You”(the first single, on YouTube), “Let Me Go Down in Flames”, “Take Me to The Brink”, “Happy Wasting Time with You” and “Driving Me Insane” all have very well-written lyrics to go with those guitar parts, with McElcheran, a veteran songwriter as well, co-writing with DesLauriers. The music is credited to the trio, with Morency’s bass part in “Let Me Go Down in Flames” particularly attractive. British bluesman Duster Bennett’s slow blues “Jumpin’ at Shadows” provides the album’s breakpoint – it’s a loving tribute to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. The second half is a little different. “Working My Way Back Home” is 2019 rockabilly and a memorable road song. “Picked A Bad Day” is a collaboration with Florida guitarist J.P. Soars that pays homage to Jimi Hendrix most ingeniously. That same level of creativity is applied to the Robert Johnson songbook for the music to “When the Darkness Comes”, a highlight among highlights. While DesLauriers’ guitar work is obviously prominent throughout, he’s included a long instrumental, “Loosy Goosy Jam #769” in case you guitar lovers haven’t had enough. The album concludes with an attractive ballad, “Waiting on You”, the lyrics end at the four-minute mark but the guitar solo runs for six minutes more with not a wasted note. Bounce is a major release for this year and I’m sure it will feature prominently in the best of lists. We in Southern Ontario can congratulate them very soon. They are at the Canadian Corps in Thorold on June 1 & 2 and then at the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival on the 3rd. They leave for an extended European tour in July. Check out those dates at www.pauldeslauriersband.com.

June 2019 - Pat Finochio
June 2019 - Debra Power