Big hearty guitars and slowly simmering down south vocals are all over the latest release fromThe Magic Lightnin’ Boys. The Ohio (yes, I said Ohio) bluesmen expertly deliver the kind of southern tempered rock that is usually found several states lower. Their new album Stealin’ Thunder, out next month is an eclectic mix of Warren Haynes style blues essentials laced with, lost in a moment, instrumentals. The surreal interludes give the album a depth beyond the normal ‘fast song, slow song’ dynamic that causes so many of their peers to get lost in the crowd.
With a blessing from Nan, the mouth harp and slide guitar wails swirl and swell to kick off Bones the album’s tone setter which puts vocalist Casey Gomez’s soulful vocals front and centre. His wail cracks the mic, bellowing “I don’t know how we got here!” in a road warrior’s chant before giving way to a blazing rip on the harmonica.
In a surprising turn, the heavy guitars fade out to the instrumental Before the Storm, a carefully painted picture of clouds barring down on the horizon. April Rain comes in with a easy going lick and settles in to a groove that bares a striking resemblance to the old Black Crowes bounce.
The album has a distinctive ebb and flow. Big brash riffing in Fear and Freedom, deft noodling in Roll and a peaceful renewal in The Cleansing.
By the time you hit the album’s lead single,The Rideyou feel like you’ve been on the road with them through the thick and thin. The free and easy intro eventually revs and sputters before taking off speeding down the road, conjuring up sunny days on an open highway. This is going to be a staple for summer road trips.
If you’re already a sucker for good ol’ swampy blues, Stealin’ Thunder has what you’re looking for in spades but for those who usually gloss over these types of albums, a closer look will reveal an album that not only tells a story but paints an impressive picture.