Carson Downey Band All The Way

Once you fall for the singer's aggressively charged, soul-drenched vocals, you'll be blown away by the guitarist's raw ability to shred the blues into large, user-friendly slabs. Then, when you find out that they are the same person and the band is Canadian, you'll jump on the bandwagon as you swell with unbridled, national pride. Where has a talent this big been hiding? Apparently, in the Maritimes, wood-shedding away from North Preston to Sydney. But keep in perspective that this is a part of the country that eats their blues pretenders for breakfast, so the learning curve has been a rigorous one. Oh sure, there are a few duds on the album and the Carson Downey Band is stuck somewhere between being the Isley Brothers and clones of the Jimi/Stevie school of hard and fast electric blues. But, for the most part, the writing is solid and the hooks not only abound but also run deep. Without doubt, the Carson Downey Band is one hard-working trio who can't hide the fact that they've got something to say and sufficient skill to say it in a highly distinctive way. The result is exciting, high energy stuff that borders on funk, borrows from soul and turbo-charges the blues with a ferocious delivery that makes you wish you could see them live. All the cards are played on All The Way: background singers, horn sections and big washes of B-3 organ - all of which only serve to muddy the waters. What you take away is a rich voice, scorching guitar work, catchy songs and unmatched levels of energy in a mettle-tested bar band that lives to play. Nothing else is important and this "diamond in the rough" is on to something that won't remain a secret for much longer. (Loggerhead)