Jesse Brewster is a rocker with his feet firmly in the Southern sounds of the old Outlaws, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boa, and others but plentifully leavened with a flowing harmonic base bringing to mind a bit of what would've happened had Pat McGee, Bob Meighan, and others taken this road. In some ways, Tom Cochrane did and turned out the tastier than hell Red Rider materials, but Brewster & Co. are harder core, having a stronger sense of stomp, maybe even an occasional bit of redneck barroom headbanging, to them.
Jesse has a snakebitten riding-the-range voice on him, embracing fire and firmness, sometimes even in the midst of the many ballads. He and compadre James DePrato sling some mean electric and slide guitars too, and when they get down in tandem, give 'em plenty of room 'cause the fur's gonna fly. God Fearin' Man exhibits this nicely, but I suggest the boys, next time around, tuck in a good deal more of the jamming. It'll spice up everything to the next level and draw in listeners from farther shores. Still, for a gettin'-the-feet-wet venture into the big time, Wrecking Ball has much to speak for it.
Catch Dive to Drown In for a sense of how solidly Brewster handles the mellow side, a bluesy bottom-end well camouflaged beneath a Streets of Laredo demeanor. He also knows his way around lyrics, The Great Escape a reflective confessional tempered by dicey salvation in the form of guarded revelations. It's hard to make a call here as to what the true direction is or should be: the guy handles the balladic and lighter side of rock & roll well, yet the passages that cut loose are whirlwinds promising so much more, especially with Eric Levy's keyboards stretching the canvas out. Sorry Ain't Enough commences as killer prairie blues and builds beautifully but never brings the thunder, and, man, a really rocking' mid-section would just *slay*. A great song it is, absolutely, but I think this band is headed for much more momentous things when it figures out how strongly it can already play every card in the deck, not leaning quite so heavily into the ones that flutter the ladies' hearts.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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