Friday, August 04, 2006

Straight Shot

Today in Music History:

In 1967, a female Monkees fan stowed away on the bands plane between shows in Minneapolis and St Louis. The girl's father threatened to bring charges for transporting a minor across state lines.

James Dolan is Chairman of New York City's Madison Square Garden in the United States, as well as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation. James Dolan is infamous for his stewardship of Madison Square Garden's teams, the National Basketball Association's New York Knicks and the National Hockey League's New York Rangers. Dolan also performs blues-inspired rock as the singer for JD and the Straight Shot. Knicks and Rangers fans would probably say forget about the music Dolan, and gives us a championship team again. So first let me post this snippet of press release and then I'll weigh in with my two cents worth.
Rockin’ is his business – well, one of them – and business is good for Jim Dolan. Already a well-respected corporate executive, Dolan makes his debut on JD Records (distributed through Rhino Entertainment) as lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Straight Shot with Nothing To Hide. Featuring 10 original songs, the album was released on September 20, 2005 at regular physical and digital retail outlets and at www.rhino.com.

Dolan has been playing music since he was 15 and three years ago he formed The Straight Shot – guitarist and chief songwriter, Bruce Koplow; bassist, Roscoe Harring; drummer, Wally Usiatynski and keyboardist, Jonny Rosch.

Weaving slow-burning blues jams together with ballads and tight rockers, Nothing To Hide was written from an experienced point of view. “These songs reflect a world-weariness that you don’t hear in the typical pop song,” Dolan explains, “but they still deal with universal themes that everyone can relate to.”

The album takes its name from a line in the song “Slow Motion In Reverse,” a shuffling blues set in a neighborhood dive bar. Dolan says the line embodies not only the spirit of the album, but also the spirit in which he lives his life. “My choices aren’t based on what other people will think. I do what I believe is right. Whatever reaction you have to me – in business, music or anything – I guarantee you’re reacting to the real me.”

The album is full of tracks that explore true-to-life stories. It mixes the rhythmic intensity of blues and classic rock with the intimacy of the contemporary singer-songwriter. Anyone hoping to find honesty, humor and spirit in their music will enjoy Nothing To Hide.
So what does the homercat think? Maybe I wouldn't be the best person to review the album as the type of blues being played here is not exactly my taste. That being said I found several of the tracks very enjoyable. After several listens I also found that there were two tracks that just didn't click for me. The rest of the album was pretty much middle ground for me. Koplow's guitar skills are solid and Rosch's harmonica made my ears take notice. Dolan has kind of a growly blues vocal and we hear that he can sing as well as run multi million dollar businesses. Which begs the question, would this debut album ever had seen the light of day without Dolan's big bucks behind it? The answer would have to be yes. The musicians here have skills and the production is crisp and highly polished. I have heard much worse in the guise of what is popular music these days. Don't listen to what I have to say, why not judge for yourself and take a gander at a couple of the tracks I really enjoyed or check out one of these upcoming shows. How a guy like that finds time to tour is beyond me but more power to him.
August 11th, Red Rocks, Denver, CO.
August 16th, Blossom Ampitheatre, Cleveland, OH.
August 18th, Beacon Theatre, New York City, NY.
August 19th, Borgata, Atlantic City, NJ.
August 22nd, North Folk, Westbury, NY.
September 2nd, Maricopa, Sun City West, AZ.
September 3rd, House of Blues, Las Vegas, NV.
September 6th, Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA.
September 8th, Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CA.
September 9th, Viejas Casino, San Diego, CA.

There's Something Wrong by JD and the Straight Shot
Gonna Kill That Dog by JD and the Straight Shot
Buy It

Funny Toon

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