If smoking guitar licks and powerful, bluesy vocals are your kind of thing, Ty Curtis is your kind of artist.
Curtis, an Oregon-based purveyor of modern blues, will bring the tour in support of his self-titled 2012 debut to Cashmere’s Club Crow Saturday, and expect all the Jonny Lang comparisons you can shake a stick at.
Like Lang, Curtis sings more like a well-seasoned delta bluesman than the 25-year-old kid he is, has a knack for tasteful minute-long guitar solos and has no problem going to the high-reaching vocal histrionic well over and over.
While there’s no question that Curtis has great chops, the songs that populate his album could use some work, specifically in the lyrical department, which tend to be uninspired. Luckily his guitar leads bail him out time after time, so long as he stays out of the late-80s power ballad territory (I’m looking at you, “Don’t Know You” and “Play My Part”).
Where Curtis shines is in his ability to infuse blues into genres you wouldn’t expect. “Feel What I Feel” builds on a disco beat to a searing guitar solo and, eventually, an almost three minute-long fusion-esque jazz interlude, and the break on reggae tune “How Was I to Know” is impeccably toned.
Also give “Late Night Wonder” a try — it’s the most well fleshed-out song on the record, sticking to the middle of the road but keeping things interesting with a few layers of guitar tracks to create a solid wall of sound.
Tickets are $10 at clubcrow.net for the show.
Caffé Mela has been entertaining the Wenatchee Valley with a surplus of Seattle-based and national touring acts for the better part of the last year, but Saturday will see the downtown venue give the spotlight to two of Wenatchee’s top modern rock acts — Patrick Foster and the Locomotive and Poor Folks, Live Well.
Poor Folks has a new EP out, “40 Years of Famine,” that you can find at Mela and on iTunes, and it features four of their heavier songs yet. Leadoff track “O’General” has some ferocious riffs coming out of Brian Bailey’s trusty Reverend guitar, while “Overused Undertones” recalls Minus the Bear’s ringing melodicism and is a showcase for Carsin Boyle’s drumming style. “Realboy” builds to a climatic exorcising of vocal demons that has become a Poor Folks trademark, and “Coccomb” closes in a familiarly dynamic and punky fashion.
Foster also has a pair of new singles out — the absolutely massive and soaring “Heavy,” and tender acoustic ballad “Picture of You,” which are available at patrick fosterandthelocomotive.bandcamp.com/album/desert-of-grace.
Tickets for Saturday’s show are $5 in advance and $8 at the door, and can be purchased at events.caffemela.com.
On the national front, the new album from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, “Psychedelic Pill,” is a real test of endurance but well worth the effort. The title track and “Walk Like A Giant” (which tops out at 16:27 and is only the third-longest track on the album) are pretty earth-quaking, especially coming from a group of guys in their 60s.
Gary Clark, Jr.’s “Blak and Blu” is another guitar-based album that deserves a few extra decibels on the hi-fi. Though the album is a little hit and miss when it ping-pongs between hard blues and more hip-hop-like styles, there’s still tons of great stuff littered throughout, including “Numb” (sounds like the Black Keys with lead poisoning, if that were a good thing) and “You Saved Me” (a strangely perfect mix of heavy guitar and R&B-influenced vocals).