Saturday, February 14, 2009

Eugene Edwards at Taix, February 13, 2009



Eugene Edwards and his crack band (i.e., good band, not band of crack addicts) are working on the follow up to his swell debut LP, My Favorite Revolution. Based on the new songs that Mr. Edwards played in barroom lounge of Taix in Echo Park, he may very well top his first effort.

For those of you not familiar with Revolution, it unveiled Edwards as a sharp songwriter who straddled the line between power pop and pub rock. His slightly weathered voice cuts through his pointed guitar playing and he sounded like someone cut from the cloth of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, and, to my ears, Clive Gregson of Any Trouble.

He did a bang up job on the title cut to his title plate (which he dedicated to the recently departed Ron Ashton of The Stooges and The Cramps' Lux Interior), along with some other material from that disc. But, to be repetitive, it was the new stuff that really knocked me out.

There were two reasons for this: 1) Edwards' new songs dig a little bit deeper into the roots of rock and roll, evoking a bit of Merseybeat (with more sting) and Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers, and, 2) Eugene's debut CD does not fully reveal what a devastating lead guitarist he is. Twice during the 40 minute or so gig, he uncorked creative guitar solos that would have surely gained nods of approval from great trad guitarists like Brian (Stray Cats) Setzer and Junior Brown. It's not just Edwards' nimble fingers, but he gets a great guitar tone, throwing just enough dirt on the smooth runs up and down the fretboard.

Making the evening even better, his drummer was spot on throughout and that rhythm guitarist of his sure could throw in some harmony vocals. Maybe because that guitarist is John Hoskinson, a darned good artist in his own right. And Edwards has a very engaging personality, and I think the ladies would say he's easy on the eyes.

And to provide a brief second opinion, my friend Jeanne noted that different songs reminded her of Squeeze and The Plimsouls. I would especially endorse the latter comparison. Tallboy Records maven Anna Borg, whose label released Revolution said that Edwards is really spending a lot of time on Disc #2 to really get it right. Based on what I saw, live in the studio would be one hell of an approach.

2 comments:

anna said...

great review! It's almost like I was there! Oh. . . wait.. .

Anonymous said...

You pulled me here from the Audities list. I would urge you to go to mog.com and link your blog so that it publishes there (unless you've already done so). That's my main hangout and we need more pop/rock mavens!

Mark B (dermahrk)
www.mog.com/dermahrk