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The Real Nasty

Strangers and Friends

Review by

The Real Nasty includes bassist Ryan Lukas, guitarist Jacob Groopman, and percussionist Matthew “Smitty” Smith. They are a country/rock trio from the San Francisco Bay Area. If you like your rock mixed with some southern cooking country style, you’ll like this album. It’s a good disc for Grateful Dead or maybe ZZ Top fans.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
The Whole Thing

Big bold drums and guitar open “The Whole Thing”, set to the melody and rhythm of the Jefferson Airplane’s “Volunteers.” The guitar solos are great and the bass work and drums support well.

No Big Deal
Cool, smooth lead electric opens one of the best songs on the album, “No Big Deal.” It’s a short story filled with excellent guitar chords, bold bass and drums. The guitar solos are amazing.
“Jezebelle” is a rough and tumble rocker full of ZZ Top–like chords and rhythms. The guitar solos are some of the best on the album. The drumming and solid bass support the guitar solos well. The coolest lines in the song are, “She can say what she wants / But I don’t have to bite.”
Good Time Johnny
This starts like an acoustic Led Zeppelin song but quickly turns into a country rocker, once Lukas’ vocals get started. It’s another “girl done me wrong” song.
I’m a Friend of Hers
“I’m a Friend of Hers” sounds like a good mix of the Grateful Dead and Steve Earle’s “Johnny Come Lately” without the cool solos and kick. It’s bouncy country rock n’ rhythm.
Girl on the Mountain

Heavy bass and lead electric guitar play off each other on “Girl on the Mountain.” It’s harder-edged country rock with a funky beat and rhythm. The guitar solos provide a more psychedelic rock feel as the song progresses.

Leave it Alone
Soft, slow guitar and vocals open this. The tambourine adds to this fun vocal–driven song.
Hello, Goodnight
“Hello, Goodnight” is full of that rockabilly, country steel guitar sound. The drums and tambourine add variety and a nice beat to this.
Whiskey for Breakfast
Here we get a fun song about the other side of life.  You can imagine the lyrics from the title. The guitars and drums rock a fast country pace. Nice guitar solos add to the track.
Spiders (Coming Towards You)
Slow grinding acoustic and electric guitars open “Spiders (Coming Towards You).” This song has a heavier guitar edge to fit with the darker lyrics.  It’s a longer song with more guitar soloing.
Get Away
“Get Away” is another “someone done someone wrong” song. This time it’s played with an almost psychedelic, ocean-side rhythm to it. They throw in some finger clicking and heavier guitar solos to add dynamics to the sound. The soft cool electric guitar moments are great.
East Coast Women
Thumping drums and Kinks-like guitars open this. It definitely has the feel of a Van Halen does The Kinks song stripped down, sacrificing the flash and power. But they do dig into the guitars later and add some of the best soloing to the album to the festivities.
Sea of People
“Sea of People” opens with sounds of the ocean and some cool slow electric and acoustic guitars. They definitely saved the best for the end. The vocals and the slow beat of the drums mix perfectly with the wave sounds in the background. This is a great closer. 
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