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Patrick McLaughlin - Self Titled

Bolt Records


From Columbus, Ohio here comes another in a long line of blues-rock guitarists fronting a power trio. His first release displays that he has guitar chops to spare and a commanding voice with a soulful edge to it that is easy to listen to. His playing has evolved as the result of being a band leader for ten years. A tight rhythm section follows his every move. The one pitfall is the mostly mundane and commonplace lyrics as well as the repetitiveness of them.

Patrick handles rhythm and lead guitar parts on most songs, giving them a beefy quality. He leads right in with slide guitar that almost talks, laid over a catchy rhythm guitar riff on “Working Hard”. Here as throughout the record the sound is fresh, clean and full of tone. It seems like the guitar playing stays close to the standard styles, until you see him taking more chances from the half-way mark on. The guitar tone and watching the turns they take are an adventure to behold. For many of the songs, the lyrics are repeated too many times rather than developed. “I’ve Got You” is a blues shuffle ala Stevie Ray Vaughn or Melvin Taylor. He can sure build a liquid guitar solo. The underlying riff that runs through “There’s More To Life Than This” provides a warm cushion for the tune to ride upon. “Constructing A Guitar Solo 101” should be the subtitle for “Motion Of Emotion” a tale of love’s complications. The moody and soul-drenched vocal emotion is supported by the bluesy guitar in “Ready Set Leave”, a tale of love gone wrong. The lone instrumental “One More” closes out the cd. It begins life as a slow blues underpinned by the crisp drumming of Darrell Jumper, then Patrick’s guitar starts spewing out licks.

This is a display of a solid dose of blues-rock with a strong leaning towards traditional blues. Patrick has an uncanny knack for a keen interaction between his vocal and his guitar. They seem to follow each other and at times intertwine. He gets able support from two different drummers and the steady bass beat of Molly Young. Rather than firing off mile-a-minute guitar barrages, he unleashes well thought out and executed solos that practice tension and release along with nuance. All songs are band efforts that reflect the best qualities of a well crafted blues song. These guys and gal have the sturdy foundation to keep building and growing upon.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

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