It sounds too much like a cliché but my life has really been defined by music since I can first remember. As a child of the sixties and seventies, my tastes run the gamut from the usual, Beatles, Stones, The Who to Jackson Browne (my favorite artist and one of my favorite people), Roseanne Cash and Billy Bragg. I have been fortunate enough to get to know and work with, in different capacities, practically every artist I admired in my formative years and found all of them to be great people as well as great artists. Not an asshole in the bunch…well, Van Morrison is possibly on the list as a vile human being but, hey, he can sing a phone directory and I would melt and, besides, who said you had to be a nice guy to be a great artist? Trust me, Van the Man is not a nice guy.
Over the last decade or so I have become jaded by the music being released and the business that has gotten even worse than it was in the early days. It seems like the only music with any life is being homemade, definitely not the American Idol/Glee versions. I think the last band I really became enamored over was Counting Crows- and that was twenty years ago.
That is jaded.
The other day while surfing Youtube for old ZZ Top videos (for what reason I have no idea) I came across a band from Canada called Sweet Moans. They did a cover of “Just Got Paid” that was spot on. Scrolling down, guitarist Steve Costello posted a video playing a solo of a Ry Cooder song – the guy is 19! Ry Cooder! One of my favorite metal songs is “Medusa” by Trapeze. Sweet Moans does it with the same great riff but with their own spin on.
And then they have originals… several – even better than the covers. I used to have great radar for picking out acts that were good enough to make it and stay for the long haul. I deliberately lost it when I lost interest in anything released beyond 1990. Without even trying, I got it back.
I was blown away by the quality of their original material. Guitar-based rock is a different animal these days than it was during the seventies but these guys have great lyrics, great melodies and the music is tight – with a trio it has to be. This is the first band I have heard in, literally, decades that I wanted to champion and in this age of the Brooklyn version of angst-ridden shoe gazers, these guys have actual excitement in the music and performance.
Don’t just take my word for it, check out Sweet Moans.