Back in May 2019, a debut album, Everyday Angel, caressed my speakers and I said: “…Trevor B Power Band delivers a strong album that travels a few different blues avenues in a good way. What it says to me is that his next album will be a corker as he develops on this sterling start”. that was the Everyday Angels album.
Trevor is the youngest of six children, raised in New Jersey on a diet of his parents record collection (pop, blues, jazz, classical, R’n’B); he was given a Honer acoustic on his fifteenth birthday and began listening to 60s and 70s rock and learned to play them by ear…although I have found using fingers is easier! He also became a DJ on local radio and then met and became friends with Bobby Whitlock of Derek and the Dominoes fame, who encouraged him to get out, play and write: and that is what he did.
The latest release, written under the covid cloud, is called What Is Real, although maybe there should be a question mark, with all of the political machinations going on around the world…ah, well some people will try and exploit any situation regardless of severity for their own ends. On to the music, and let’s see if these ten originals live up to my expectations.
Opening track World Gone Madd (yes, two’d’s), after studio chat, brings an irresistible beat and delightful slide (and I love slide!). The lyrics are sharp, but not dismissive or despondent.
Get Well Johnny is addressed to his brother and has the Bluedoodles regular, Will Wilde, pouring the harp into the funk. There is humour there too…” your father must have been the milkman ‘cos you don’t look like me” and Will delivers a cracking solo.
Pandemic 2020 kind of says it all as Trevor tells the story over a Springsteen-esque backing…fortunately for me (I’m sorry, I just don’t rate him) the guitar solo is a perfect, picked piece that lifts this back on high. I’m Still In is a countrified ballad with some neat guitar phrasing (acoustic and electric) behind the plaintive vocal explaining the beginning of a relationship breakdown.
Easier Way is one of my early favourites as this blues shuffle takes the familiar and with slide and harp delivers a quality song with many layers to dissect and enjoy…including another picked solo that delights, even if it’s a bit too short.
Life Is Good is a guitar/piano boogie that uses the vocal melody of Johnny B Goode filtered through a less obvious instrumental structure and another tasty solo too. I’m A Fool moves back into the country with clever slide as Trevor does his version of Kenny Rogers…the slide is beautiful with a lap steel feel (too short again!)
The brilliantly titled Sexy Witch is next and is the second favourite as Trevor channels the Jagger/Richards style and, with Danielle’s able assistance, gives the story two sides. Back to a nice blues shuffle on Woman; more tasty slide (sometimes wah’d delectably) over a fairly simple backing as we are regaled by a great vocal telling of more relationship issues.
The final track, This Old Road, employs the devilishly difficult 12 string acoustic to great effect; it chimes nicely as the lyrics leave us on a positive note…it also has a clever not quite solo as the chorded passage fascinates.
Now to answer that question: did it live up to my expectations? Yes it most certainly did. The album is bristling with quality and originality and, apart from my Boss phobia, doesn’t put a foot wrong. Blues, funk, country, rock (and roll) are all present and correct and fuse effortlessly into a satisfying whole.
Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – A Wonderful album of varied and original songs delivered with quality music and musicians; it deserves repeated listens to un-peel the layers.
World Gone Madd
Get Well Johnny
I’m Still In
Life Is Good
I’m A Fool
This Old Road
Trevor B Power: guitar, vocals, harmonica
Anthony Krizan: guitar, drums, bass, vocals
Rob Clores: keyboards
Will Wilde: harmonica
Danielle Illario, Matt Miglorino, John Ginty: backing vocals
Recorded at Sonic Boom Studios; engineered and produced by Anthony Kirzan
(iTunes delivered more Trevor B from his debut but then another Trevor popped up…the posthumous release by Trevor Bolder with the superb Sail The Rivers album.)