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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Professor Louie

and the Crowmatix – Wings on Fire

Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed this group’s last couple discs and dug them, so I was looking forward to this one.  It definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s very much a roots rock meets jam band and world music album. There are other elements here and there, but however you slice it, this is a smoking hot slab of music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Down At the County

Here’s a cool rock and roll tune with some country and blues in the mix. It’s a tasty number and a nice way to start things off in style.

Uncommon Love

Somehow this makes me think of the Grateful Dead in a lot of ways. It’s a killer rocker with a lot of retro sounds. There are some nice keyboard bits on this and it’s just a great soulful rock and roll tune.

Open Hand Open Heart

There’s a bit of a Latin groove to this along with a retro pop rock sound. It’s a good tune that has a little bit of a world music vibe. It’s just not up the same level as the two that preceded it. It features some particularly cool keyboard sounds.

Book Faded Brown

Here we get a balladic number that’s more like a singer songwriter meets classic rock tune.

High Tech Wreck

There’s a lot of zydeco on this bouncy little number.

Top of the World

I love the soulful female vocals on this cut. It’s stomping little number that’s well based on R & B.

Color of the Blues

There’s definitely a lot of that old school, down home zydeco sound on this tune. It’s got some tasty guitar playing and really works well.

Time Moves On

Here’s an effective and evocative rock ballad-style tune. It’s a good cut that works well. It definitely has a Grateful Dead vibe at times.

The Bird Song

The zydeco returns with this mid-tempo number. It’s an effective one.

Moment in the Sun

Here’s a cut that’s more typical of a classic rock song. It’s mid-tempo and has a great musical tone and a lot of layers of vocals.

Center of Your Circle

While there’s almost progressive rock or jazz air to the music on this classic rocker, a few parts feel a bit awkward, like they tried to put too many words into too short of a space.

Wings On Fire

Perhaps this is best described as a jam band song. There’s plenty of classic rock and it has some great instrumental moments. There isn’t a lot of singing (in fact, just a chorus with only the title as the lyrics), but when the music’s this cool, who cares.

4 % Pantomime

There seems to be a touch of reggae on this number, but overall it’s just a very effective mid-tempo rocker that works really well. This is arguably the strongest piece on show, and that makes it a great choice for disc closer.

 
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