SOUTH NEW YORK

by The Michael Louis Band

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  • Brooklyn’s Michael Louis Band is a hard working, big sounding and righteous power Blues trio that cuts to the chase and drives on. Louis has found the Seger boogie and the sublimely rocking profundity of Cream. These guys may be from the 3rd city but here, North is definitely meeting South. These sessions were recorded across Dixie in Memphis, Muscle Shoals and Tupelo, MS. And, to show how they were received, Roland James said “you guys may be from New York but it must be South New York.” These recordings really got the “stank” they were seeking. This disk is rife and full with soul, funk, country, Southern rock or even what we LIer’s call “psychedelta.” The band of Eric Kalb (D), Andrei Sebastian (B) and Michael Louis (G,V) have lots of back and experience and together, they crunch. Guests include Travis Wammack who produced and played some axe and James Wormworth who did well hitting things along with Sonny Burgess and Billy Lee Reilly of Sun Studio fame. Feedback and fuzz, sliding and grinding and rapid fire axe share time with soulful stretching out like in opener “Ain’t That Kinda Man.” “Shade Tree” pops and funks like it has no backbone. Allman Brothers imbues “Let It Go”, “Molly” is an acoustic Ragtime tribute to a certain kind of lady and “Cause of Us” Cissily struts like Nocentelli, Batiste and Porter. Heavy is all you need to know about “Reasons and Seasons.” Probably the coolest cut to flow across my tympanic membranes in a while is a deep North MS take on “I Fought the Law”! These guys bring it from the woods to the city. Krang! (Mark Gresser) Dr. Blues regional CD reviews

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“South New York” The Michael Louis Band
Blues-rock has been written off more times than Jimmy Page. Yet every once in a while there’s a record with one foot in bellbottomed past and one in the present, reminding music heads that rattlesnake riffs - when paired with soulful songs - are always in style. “South New York” is one of those platters. Brooklyn guitarist Michael Louis is an absolute tone pimp. The album’s toothy guitar sounds hold their own against those by better-known revivalists such as Marc Ford and Derek Trucks. The freakout fuzz on “Shade Tree” echoes “Truth”-era Jeff Beck, but Louis’ technique has modern sophistication, a la Warren Haynes. As jaw-dropping as Louis’ solos can be, he always plays for the song and his whiskey-throated vocals are supported throughout by the muddy propulsion of drummer Eric Kalb and bassist Andrei Sebastian. On “Ain’t That Kind of Man,” greasy bottleneck weaves between garage organ blips. “Shade Tree” is soaked in New Orleans grit. There’s also stoner sway (“Saturday Night”), high-cholesterol interludes (“Let It Go”) and ZZ Top scuzz rock (“Let Me Love You”). The album’s grits-n-gravy looseness is no accident. The 13-song set was tracked at Tuscumbia, Ala.’s MSMM Recording, Tupelo, Miss.’s Hi-Ridge Recording and Sam Phillips Recording. Although “South New York” includes brief detours into 12-bar shuffles, it spends most of its time highlighting what Louis does best: unearthing new classic rock gems. (M. B. Wake)

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released 01 September 2010

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