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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Freeway Jubilee

On The Horizon Vol. 1 (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a strong release from this North Carolina based act. The music here has a real classic rock feeling to it. It would have been quite at home on the radio in the 1970s. There are some songs that definitely stand out, but there are no slouches here. All in all, I think this is an album I'll be spinning for years to come. I should note that the awesome colored, nearly clear vinyl is quite cool, too. I heartily recommend this.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Side A
                     
In Motion

With an acapella opening, there is a real roots vibe to this. As the music enters, at first it feels rather electronic. The vocals continue nearly acapella beyond that point. Then the track powers out into more of a powerhouse rocking sound. This has a real classic 1970s rock sound. I'm reminded just a little of the Steve Miller Band. This is a fun tune, and a great opener. The track features an organ solo and a smoking hot guitar solo.

Sunlight Stream
I dig the funky groove the bass brings to this piece. The track has another smoking hot pop rock sound. I like the horn arrangement quite a bit. There are definite soul music things here. Somehow I'm reminded a little of the funky side of the Grateful Dead. I suppose comparisons to Dave Matthews would be appropriate, too. That said, this also seems like something that would have been at home on 1970s radio. The guitar soloing makes me think of The Allman Brothers a little. The instrumental section later drives into some killer jam band zones, reinforcing that reference, while bringing others to bear, too.
Not The Same
More of a country rock vibe is drenched all over this. Marshall Tucker Band comes to mind. This wanders into jazzy, Dave Matthews type territory further down the road. That works out to more pure jazz zones from there. Country rock merges with the Grateful Dead as it comes out of that extended instrumental movement.
Side B
                   
Rugged & Free

I dig the tentative groove that starts this cut. It grows outward with a lot of style from there. The Grateful Dead reference is very valid here. This is dramatic and powerful. The instrumental section on this is packed with magic. I think this might be my favorite piece on this album. A number of music greats of yesteryear are name checked on the tune. There is a killer jazzy jam later in the song, too.

Let Me Try
There is a lot more country music in the mix here. Yet, we also get plenty of jazzy sound, as well. This is another classy track. It's not as strong as the one that preceded it, though. Then again, that's more about how strong that one is than any weakness in this one.
Reachin'
A rather funky groove brings this tune into being. This works out to more of a mainstream rocking sound, but horns bring some jazz to the cut.
Humble Song
There is a lot more country and gospel in this sound on this tune. It has a bouncy kind of vibe to it. There are some intriguing twists and turns on this, included a drop down to a full old-school country music groove.
 
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