Odds Lane are Lost & Found in St. Louis

I must admit, I hadn’t heard of Odds Lane, although I recognised the names of the founders…Doug Byrkit and Brian Zielie appeared on the Blue Room CD by the inimitable Mike Zito. Even then I came to that one late as it was the Ruf records 20th anniversary remaster that caught my attention. Looking a bit deeper, it seems that Doug and Brian have been friends and musical partners since their schooldays. Their ‘new’ venture as Odds Lane started in 2003 and has released three albums: Dark Matters in 2012,  Last Night On Cherokee in 2016 and now the Zito produced Lost And Found. . In case you’re wondering, the band name comes from their love of the Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series and Odds Lane was the name of a street in the seventh book. Although the PR suggests comparisons to Steely Dan, I find a more blues, rock, funk element that has a weight that Dan rarely did.

It opens with Don’t Give It Away and goes straight for the blues-rock jugular with a heavy and irresistible riff using neat barred chords. The guitar punctuations add to the solid vocal lines with an inventive fuzzed solo making the song a catchy, quality track. Seven States combines the blues with a solid and relatively light rock backing chord structure. The lead breaks keep it heavy enough to satisfy my needs and the solo is a short pure rock excursion. Doug also does a good job on the bass if you listen closely as it tracks the drums and basic riff in a novel way. Ain’t Missing You takes a slower and very bluesy approach. The drum patterns are excellent as Brian uses the varied tones of the kit to add to the melody. This isn’t a true ballad and it is lifted above many, many similar songs of that ilk with a solo that truly explores the neck and all of its frets. The title track, Lost And Found, is a sort of pop-rock with a hint of blues and, apart from some tasty guitar, it is a little anodyne in comparison to the rest of the album. Moth To A Flame takes the quality back up, albeit for less than three minutes, with a funky rocking romp with slide guitar from Mike Zito firing it up nicely, both in the backing and then an excellent but very short solo. Hard Rain is different again…it’s darker and softer vocally but still has an essential bite with the clever riff and hi-hat and rim shot drumming and that bite really shows its fangs at the halfway mark, when the way too short solos use sustained notes to great effect. This is a damn good slice of rock that is both immediate and long lasting in the mind. Next up is Blood On The Van…not, I’m pleased to say, the story of the guys running someone down. It is a slide-backed piece of quality blues-rock that has Zito on top form throughout, over a mid paced riff. Spare Change is a real blast as they take the old ‘brother can you spare a dime’ story, but with a rapid fire backing for the slide to work wonders over, under and through…irresistible. What’s Your Name is a trip back to the 60s of psychedelia with a base of blues-rock and funk all mixed up…somehow it works very well, although it takes a couple of listens to elicit the clever complexity of all the backing and it is worth investing the time to hear all of the different voices that Doug wrenches out of the guitar…and not just during the ‘far-out, man’ soloing. Little Too Late keeps the funk edge with an infusion of bluesy Santana; the guitar runs around the vocals also recall Carlos and the solo maintains that sound but is still original and superbly played. Final track, White Castle Blues is, apparently, about a restaurant that is forever open to sate the late night revellers with cheap food. It seems they are popular with musicians too…a little the Blue Boar in the Graham Bonnet song of that name. It’s a fun song that evokes a sort of late 60s, early 70s sound with slide and picked guitars combining in the backing and sharing the solo…a light blues-rock with a pop feel that takes you back to when pop could include quality rock too.

In summary, then, this is a blues-rock album that will entertain on every track and is a worthwhile addition to the collection. The Zito influence and contributions are apparent and has lifted the pair to a level where they can be favourably compared to many of the established acts out there…and they are way better than some of those! The fun factor shouldn’t be ignored either…it sounds like they had a great time recording this and that fun communicates itself to the listener and helps ‘promote’ this album to my regular listening list.

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track listing:

  1. Don’t Give It Away
  2. Seven States
  3. Ain’t Missing You
  4. Lost & Found
  5. Moth To A Flame
  6. Hard Rain
  7. Blood On The Van
  8. Spare Change
  9. What’s Your Name
  10. A Little To Late
  11. White Castles Blues

Musicians

Doug Byrkit – Vocals, Guitars, Bass

Brian Zielie – Drums

Mike Zito – Slide Guitar

Producer – Mike Zito

Recorded at – Marz Studio, Nederland, Texas

Record Label Gold Coast Records

Odds Lane are Lost & Found in St. Louis

One thought on “Odds Lane are Lost & Found in St. Louis

  • 19th August 2019 at 8:22 pm
    Permalink

    Great review, thank you Bluesdoodles, Liz Aiken, and Tom Dixon! – Doug Deutsch, Gulf Coast Records Publicist

    Reply

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