Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dan Mahar's Lone Stone's Throw

Dan Mahar is a singer-guitarist from Sioux Falls, North Dakota, who is a former Nashville sideman and session player and toured with Country star Billy Dean. He has a new album on White Smoke Records, Long Stone’s Throw, which is a blues-rock disc in the vein of a Coco Montoya or a Tinsley Ellis. This is not to say that he is necessarily quite up to their level, but this recording will have its most immediate appeal to fans of that musical style.

He certainly is a solid singer and certainly pulls out all the stops on his solos. The band is solid and keeps a rock-solid, heavy groove going, which suits Mahar. The performances are originals, although Linda Lu sounds like a reworking of the Ray Sharpe classic rock and roll number and has nice harp from Karl Kabbage. You Don’t Have to Tell Me has a clever opening, with a riff from Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, before launching in the quick walking tempo with twin guitars soloing against each.

I Never Meant Us to Fall is a nice change of pace, with a relaxed vocal on a r&B tinged ballad. The title track is a nicely done shuffle with particularly nice guitar, the rhythm section swings and some nice horns in the background. This writer assumes that Mahar is playing the dobro on, I Got My Baby Working, which places new lyrics to Got My Mojo Working, and again benefits from a more laid back rhythm. The closing track, Someday I’m Gonna Know, is a gospel number which he performs accompanied solely by his dobro.

For my taste, this is a mixed bag. Some of the tracks sound a bit heavy-handed and the backing is too busy. Those whose tastes lean towards a rock-tinged blues may find much more here to their liking.

This review originally appeared in the April 2008 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 304) and I have made some minor stylistic revisions. I am not sure of my source for the review copy although it likely came from a publicist or Jazz & Blues Report.

No comments: