Dru Lombar currently fronts Dr. Hector & the Groove Injectors, a powerhouse blues band. However, in the 70s he was singer/songwriter/guitarist and leader of the Southern rock group Grinderswitch. They were a super talented band but never climbed to the status achieved by other southern rockers. In 1977, the band was working on their second LP for the Rabbit/Atco label. Thanks to the popularity of disco, their recording career suddenly came to a screeching halt and the album was lost. Now, it is available for the first time in its entirety on this new CD.
The southern rockin boogie begins with "How Come It Is?". The tune and most of the CD features the impressive, soulful Muscle Shoals Horns. "Moving On Back To You" missed its chance as a top 40 1970s hit. Here, Lombar sings the way he plays Ė rough and straight to the point. All the ingredients of southern rock feature on "The Warm Kind" with its catchy rhythm, wailing guitar and taste of country western.
The bandís blues roots come out in full force on Albert Kingís "Youíre Gonna Miss Me". Lombar and second guitarist Larry Howard trade peaceful, soulful solos which crescendo into a barrage of notes. Dru lays down some slide on the stormtrooping burner called "Dr. Hectors Traveling Show". The Drifters hit "I Count The Tears" seems out of place but it is hard not to sing along to the chorus. The tune contains some killer dueling guitar solos reminiscent of the ABB.
The mix and lyrics of "If The World Was My Guitar" hedge on being tacky. The band tries too hard for this cut to be an AOR hit. Conversely "Thats What You Get" has a far more natural feel and flow to it even though its very heavy on the pop. With its catchy guitar riff and joyous horns, this one could easily have been a hit.
The band had an impressive bunch of musicians. On top of the 2 guitar attack, they had Stephen Miller on vocals and keys. Throughout this recording, his keyboard/organ work is top-notch. The late Joe Dan Petty (bass) and Rick Burnett (drums) laid the foundation for the rhythm section. Together they wrote the majority of the bandís original material. 8 original songs are featured here.
This CD is a collection of 10 fun, foot-stompin southern rock tunes proving that Grinderswitch was robbed of stardom before their time. The noticeable hiss from the original analog recordings and the short duration (37 mins in total) is a small price to pay for a piece of history. Producer Paul Hornsby does a fine job given the fact, the recordings must not have been in mint condition. Itís an ideal CD for Grinderswitch fans or anyone wondering what the hype was all about. Youíll be borrowing your teenagerís bellbottom jeans after spinning this one.
For CDs, and information, write to: New South Productions, PO Box 50361, Jax Beach, FL 32250 Phone: (904) 223-0461
Website: www.drhector.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This review is copyright © 2000 by Tim Holek, 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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