Tim Herron Corporation. Talkabout (independent). The band, currently consisting of Tim Herron, Eric McElveen and David Salce, has been jamming around Central and Northern New York for more than 10 years with their blend of rock, bluegrass and folk, which they dub “Ameribeat.”
In their fourth effort, featuring album guests Charley Orlando and Mark Nanni, THC brings it again with brand new songs that somehow manage to feel as familiar and comfortable as their previous releases. The album opens with jaunty “Better Days,” a song perfect for cruising back roads on a spring day. “Goldmine” is a nearly eight-minute dive into the band’s jam roots, with the song morphing at times into a Phish-like groove worthy of mention. The fifth track, “Diane Lane,” delivers a solid chunk of their folk chops and “Out Of My Life” offers a little vinegar mixed with sugar; a good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish song in THC’s indelible jumpy style. THC’s shows are known for their high energy and innovative covers (the band does a killer bluegrass version of Radiohead’s “Creep”) and that enthusiasm comes across in the record. All four of the band’s albums are available for a name-your-own-price purchase on their website, www.timherroncorporation.com.
Digger Jones. All Growed Up (Old Boy Records). Sit back, relax, and tap your feet to the catchy tunes of Digger Jones, Central New York’s funky southern blues rock trio. All Growed Up, the band’s 12-track debut album, highlights the group’s edgy and powerful sound.
Digger Jones, formed in 2009, spotlights Cortland County natives Steve “Stiv” Morgan and Chris Merkley and Whitney Point’s Chad Dean. Their large sound can be attributed to Morgan on bass and vocals, Merkley on guitar, harmonica and vocals, and Dean on drums. Together, the group combines original blues, rock and funk music into inventive melodies and tops the blend with poetic lyrics.
All Growed Up is about reflecting on the past and trying to find one’s place. On “Do You Know,” Morgan wholeheartedly sings, “But my how times have changed/ Where has all the fun gone/ Stuck with the ill at ease/ Responsibility and then fidelity even senility.” This album centers on transformation.
The tunes vary from slide guitar-driven blues rock to groove-heavy blues funk matched with vocal harmonies. Songwriters Morgan and Merkley wrote six songs and four songs respectively, and co-signed the slow and steady “Dead of the Night” and provocative “Walking into Walls.”
The album also features local guest musicians Mark Nanni of Los Blancos on keyboards, AJ Strauss of The Sutras and The Crooners on trumpet, and Jamie Yaman of Mutron Warriors on baritone saxophone.
The album was released by Old Boy Records, a Central New York-based label specializing in original American roots music. For more information about Digger Jones, visit www.oldboyrecords.com.
Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jug Band. (O, Morning Records). Picture this in your mind’s ear: Bob Dylan and the guys from moe. walk into a bar. They lock eyes from across the room, sit down and have a few drinks, jam a little, and then one thing leads to another... And the next thing you know, you’ve got a musical love child, and they name Mumford and Sons as the godfather.
Oh, if only this was true. But we’ve found an album that’s pretty damn close to this dream: The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jug Band’s new self-titled EP.
The name might seem a little overwhelming at first, but the truth of this band is simple.
The Jug Band’s tunes are the perfect music for a lazy Saturday afternoon in July, dancing and drinking lemonade on the back porch. The folk-rock jammers, hailing from our very own Syracuse University, sprinkle just the right amount of catchy, folky guitar riffs throughout the album to keep it in the rock realm without slipping over into country territory. Soulful jams add to the essence of the album, but don’t overpower it. And, of course, with a track called “Lorax’s Lament” —boasting harmonica and nothing short of beautiful guitar work, both that would make Daddy Dylan grin from ear to ear—who could go wrong?
From the danceable track “New York City” to the bluesy “Devil Child,” tapping your foot along with the music is inevitable—and it would take some will power to not want to get up and dance. For more, visit www.myspace.com/travelingminstreljugband.
Tim Herron: The local musician’s corporation has issued a new CD.