Monday, November 23, 2015

Hank Mowery Has Excuses Plenty

About Hank Mowery's 2013 recording "Account To Me" (Old Pal) I observed that Mowery was a strong blues voice that is showcased on a most entertaining recording. It is a description equally applicable to his latest recording "Excuses Plenty" (Blue Bella Records). Backed by his band "The Hawktones" with Mowery on harp and vocals; Troy Amaro on guitar; Chris Corey on keyboards; Patrick Recob on bass and backing vocals and John Large on drums and percussion. Also are a number of guest appearances including guitarists Mike Morgan and Doug Deming; bassist Larry Taylor; and harmonica wizard Dennis Gruenling, providing extra musical depth to the solid playing here.

Mowery kicks off this album with an original "Anna Lee" that is a nice dose of bluesy rock and roll (think Chuck Berry meets Kid Thomas). His sharp-toned harp mixed with his straight-forward vocals delivered with conviction is backed by rollicking piano and some kick-ass guitar. It is followed by the sober "I Don't Want to Know" with a restrained, thoughtfully played guitar solo by Claude Nine. The title track has effective trebly guitar from Amaro and some soulful harp playing from the leader followed by "Walk With Me," a Blasters styled rocker with terrific harp. "One and Only" is a terrific Jimmy Rogers' styled shuffle with more Mowery harp as he trades licks with guitarist Mike Morgan. "Cry For Me" is not the soul classic but an original with a swampy rock accents and greasy fafisa sounding organ from Corey. "Would You Still Love Me on a Rainy Day" is played with considerable restraint including Mowery's softly delivered vocal with Dennis Gruenling taking the superb harp solo here with Deming soloing on guitar. A cover of William Clarke's "Telephone Is Ringing" opens with some explosive Deming guitar and has explosive harp playing by Gruenling and Mowery as well as a tough vocal (sounding like he is singing through his harp mike).

Its another strong set of performances by Mowery who sands out as a songwriter, singer and instrumentalist backed by a tight band and some superb guests. The marvelous music on "Excuses Plenty" certainly should appeal to fans of traditional post-war blues as well as roots rock enthusiasts.

I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is Hank Mowery and the Hawktones in performance.

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