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Christy Rossiter & 112 North Duck – Gone Fishin
The forty six second “Prelude” written by guitarist Michael Beebe is the lead-off track for Christy Rossiter & !12 North Ducks’ Gone Fishin release. It’s a short solo spot for Beebe displaying slide skills that sound like he just got back from the Delta and he is an inspired man for it. This leads a listener to think they are in for a treat of tasty blues-rock erupting like a volcano.
Unfortunately this doesn’t raise the bar high enough to meet expectations. What this band has got going for them is they write original material and don’t rape and pillage songs from blues song books that the world has heard a million times over.
The major problem lies within the fact that this material doesn’t jump up and deliver with a visceral punch. Sure there a moments in the lazy shuffle “It’s Just Another Day” and the funk strut of “The Louisiana Way.” In a live setting maybe this material is presented as loud rockers if the amps are dialed at 11. The studio might just be too much of a sterile environment as the production seems to be really slicked down. At best this sounds like a band that is a work in progress.
As a vocalist Rossiter is in her own league. But the singing seems best suited if she was heading an alternative rock outfit given her range. You won’t find a Susan Tedeschi or a Bonnie Raitt here. This is more or less a lone wolf running with her own pack.
The woman isn’t a bad writer. Her assistance in penning the title track with the rest of the boys turns out a piece of blues that shows potential. And if the whole album followed this similar pattern, more light would emerge from the end of the tunnel.
At best this CD is a good companion to take with you on a thirty minute plus drive to work. There’s not too much aggression to make you burst through the seat belt. It’s a nice top down drive and the band can hit an occasional groove here and there that sparkles with promise.
Wisely this CD clocks at 42:19. Any longer than that would be overkill as this music tends to sink or swim depending on the nature of the tune.
Reaping the rewards for success is a long way off for this group. The best business move is being signed to a small time label. Compared to the other work being released in the Blues industry, this CD stands a great chance of being overlooked because of mediocre songwriting.
Rossiter as a front woman isn’t leading musicians on a road to ruin. A listen to “Throw The Dog A Bone” stands as ample conviction that these guys can turn up the heat as rock your world. Then again their journey to candy mountain will be a rough one.
They have the right idea in writing their own material. What this band has to concentrate on is a more aggressive approach to make a listeners turn their heads. This doesn’t mean they have to be maniac shredders. But they can’t continue this type of formula in attempts to gain recognition. They might as well hang it up and go back to working normal day jobs like everyone else. Or attending blues jams where they can gain a better fix of how the music should be played. That in itself is an education to which everyone gains and there are so very few losses. The lid on the coffin doesn’t have to be closed just yet.
Reviewer Gary Weeks is a contributing writer. He resides in Marietta, GA.