Darren Stroud can play guitar. His guitar work is good to excellent all over this CD. The only thing I wish was that his vocals were better. That's the biggest detraction from this CD. The music is fairly modern blues with just the right amount of blues/rock feel. The twelve songs on the CD are all self penned also, so from a talent standpoint, Mr. Stroud
has a good share of it. The CD contains a wide variety of song styles with plenty of firey guitar work. Right off the bat, 'Dog Gone Blues' fires off with a fast shuffle with riffing guitar all over the place. It's followed by 'M.O.R. Blues' which is slow and smokey. Stroud's voice works much better on the slower songs. 'Alive in the Night' is a heavy
rockin blues, and could be a melodic rock song with a bit more aggressiveness. One thing that stands out is that at the start of every song you hear the drummer clicking off the tempo. You see this in clubs all the time and it doesn't seem to bother me but on a CD it just detracts from the recording. This is one item that should have been left off the master during the mixing process. 'Guitar Playin Fool' is straight out of Bo Diddly territory. 'Hard Times' is a slow shuffle with plenty of tasty guitar between the vocals. Stroud can be tasty with his guitar work and his playing is clean overall. He can also be found
playing on other CD's by Excursion, Mr. Presto, Rhett McDaniel and Red Beans and Rice.
If you like guitar driven blues with really good guitar playing, then you may like this CD. The music is very good overall, and the production is decent overall, except for a couple of items noted above. Vocally, the CD comes up lacking. Bottom Line: packaging gets two stars, musical ability gets three stars and vocals get one star.
5045 East 12th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46201-1861
Darren Stroud - bass, guitar & vocals
Yun Hui - Drums
This review is copyright © 2001 by Robert Murphy, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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