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Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Music Reviews

EdMo Project, Derek Givans and More - The Beat’s Record Roundup

Musicians - send your CDs to The Beachcomber, P.O. Box 5707, Destin, FL 32540-5707, and we'll give 'em a listen.

The EdMo Project

Rhythm on the Blocks: Music from and Inspired by the Film Belmont DeVilliers


I haven’t seen Robin Reshard’s documentary about the Pensacola neighborhood that inspired this collection, but EdMo Lanier fleshes out a pretty striking narrative of his own here—not the easiest thing to pull off on a mostly instrumental set. This bluesy, jazzy, rootsy disc does have some vocals—from Beal Street Bottle Club regulars JB Lawson and Calvin “P-Nut” Pina—but it’s mostly just hot playing that evokes good feelings, making the listener long to visit if not flat out relocate. With Lee Pons and Joe Fingas on piano, Sarasota Slim on dobro, and the outstanding young guitarist Josh Carter.

- Chris Manson

Derek Givans

Ain’t That Far from Home (2012)


One of the early heroes of the Beachcomber Music Awards, Givans fell off my radar after his band Newfangled Theory called it quits. Shame on me. This guy is a top-tier singer-songwriter whose lyrics have evolved considerably from the NT’s best-loved tune, “Drink More Beer.” The 10-track album starts off in alone-with-guitar mode and intensifies musically by the time you get to Givans’ rousing statement of purpose “The Music’s in Me.” Highly recommended.

- Chris Manson

Ben Goldberg

Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues

BAG Production Records

Clarinetist Goldberg reportedly rehearsed this album for just one day before recording it in 2008. After “aging” it, he let it go this month. Joined by Josh Redman (tenor sax), Ron Miles (trumpet), Devin Hoff (bass), and Ches Smith and Scott Amendola on drums, Goldberg’s 12-track set (including a bonus called “Song #1”) keeps things short (7:30 minutes at most) and very crisp and clean. Saxes and trumpets together can sometimes get a little competitive, but adding a clarinet brokers things nicely.

- Bruce Collier


Random Thoughts


Super smooth soul. From the energetic, danceable “Open” to the reggae vibe of “This World,” Random Thoughts pulls from influences beyond classic R&B. The doo-wop flavored “I Don’t Care” delivers a catchy melody you’ll find yourself singing long after you’ve listened to the album.

- Nikki Hedrick

Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials

Jump Start (2012)


This one left me feeling happier than any recent blues record I can remember. Lil’ Ed Williams and his band tear through 13 originals that follow through on their intriguing titles (“Kick Me to the Curb,” “No Fast Food,” “Moratorium on Hate”), plus a fine cover of J.B. Hutto’s “If You Change Your Mind.” The band performs at the Village of Baytowne Wharf (for FREE!) Wednesday, March 6.

- Chris Manson

Christian Mayes

Just the Tip


The album’s subtitle—A Possibly Volatile Album of Acoustical Exploration--is a pretty good description of this release from the ex-Trees frontman. Songs genre hop, but the instrumental “Good Morning” best showcases Mayes’ ability as a guitar player.

- Nikki Hedrick

Iron Mike Norton

Bad Monkey

GFO Records

Mixing blues, slide guitar and gritty rock in a genre called “swamp stomp,” Bad Monkey’s charm is irresistible. Pairing the gravel voice of Iron Mike with start-stop tempos creates powerful chugging blues songs with an undeniable edge. This is swamp blues personified.

- Nikki Hedrick

Jeremy Pelt

Water and Earth


Trumpeter Pelt comes on both strong and soft on Water and Earth, a generous ninetrack offering that teams Pelt with different personnel from his earlier releases. The title begs comparison with ‘70s fusion works from the likes of Weather Report and latterday Miles Davis, and some of the tracks (ex. “Boom Bishop”) underscore this. Still, there are no 30-minute trance grooves, and some of the tracks—including lead-offs “Reimagine the World” and “Mystique”—are satisfying straightahead music. There’s something for most tastes, not the least of which is Pelt’s rich, singing tone. He’s in his prime here.

- Bruce Collier

Wednesday 13

The Dixie Dead

Wednesday 13 Records

Wednesday 13 revels in a love of horror movies and a gothic sensibility while approaching hard rock music like a punk band. This is fun music with a campy twist. Fans of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie will feel right at home listening to this.

- Nikki Hedrick