Fri, May 10, 2013.
Ross Neilsen loves going down south to grab the original blues vibe when he makes his albums. The last couple, as well as this one, have been recorded in studios in the U.S. south. His previous solo album, The Shack Up Sessions, had a true Delta sound, and Neilsen fit right in. The studios, the surroundings, seem to bring out the best in him.
The pattern continues here, except I don't think it will be quite what you'd expect. Made in Louisiana, with rising star artist Anders Osborne of New Orleans, this is actually Neilson most rock album, or rawk as he prefers to call it. While there's a touch of blues in all the songs, and a couple that toe the line, for the most part these are sizzling guitar trio numbers, or groove-boogie songs. From the bouncy organ of Need You More to the twangy country of Ain't Like That to the nasty sludge of Walk On By, Neilsen and the band throw a whole new bunch of sounds at us, making this his liveliest work as well.
Above it all though, is Neilsen's most inspired guitar work. Breaking free from the blues for many of his leads, he's loud and proud, and sounding more inspired by Neil Young than Muddy Waters. The lengthy cuts Daddy Taught Me and Juanita both could be Crazy Horse workouts, with choppy rhythm chords, some feedback, and an epic nature. Neilsen hasn't left the blues world, but with Osborne and his bandmates Karl Gans and Jamie Guitar, he's now well-defined his particular take on, one that has always set him apart live.
Neilsen is launching the Resurrection album Saturday, May 11, at Fredericton's newly-renovated historic train station, and details on attending that show are on his website. Next weekend, he'll be playing at Paddlefest in St. Andrews, on Friday the 17th and Saturday May 18.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).