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Mark Joseph

Vegas Motel

Review by Gary Hill

The blend of sounds on this set is unique. There is plenty of roots music here, but quite a bit of range to it. While the opener is very much old school country music, as the album continues it works through all kinds of territory, even leaning toward prog at times. This never feels redundant or tired, and there are some really exceptional moments.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
The Vegas Motel
There is a down-home, old-school country music vibe built into this number. The pedal steel guitar brings so much retro goodness with it. This is a great opener.
Hard Workin' Man
While this is not as down-home as the opener was, it still has plenty of country in the mix. It's a catchy cut that's more of a folk rocker at its core. It has some solid hooks.
Nate's Garage
More of a rocker, this still has a bit of a twang to it. It's energetic and so strong. It's one of the highlights as far as I'm concerned.
The Life of a Pipe Welder
Intricate acoustic guitar brings this into being. As the vocals join, I'm reminded of folk prog. There are definitely psychedelic elements at play, too. This really gets into some cool, nearly prog rocking zones as it builds out later. It's a great change and a killer tune.
Early Riser (featuring Ryan Young)
The intricate acoustic guitar is a big part of this number, too. This has some of that soaring folk prog sound built into it. It's a dramatic instrumental that's another highlight of the disc.
I Love You Till' I Die
There is a classic folk music vibe to this. Yet it also feels like alternative pop rock. There are country angles in the roots mix here. The horns bring something special to this tune. The whole thing is packed full of class and style.
Little Lucy
I dig the folk music meets alternative rock vibe of this mellower groove. It's another slab of class.
My Friend, Stella Blue
Based on an acoustic guitar and vocal approach, the closer is a folk ballad that's so classy. After the song proper ends, this drifts into trippy, echoey prog-like goodness.
 
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