Traditional blues idioms with a modern edge is the best way to describe the band Track 44. Guitarist Jimmy Pircio and keyboardist Dan Sevush formed a band based on their admiration of vintage blues masters. They usually rounded out the live band with drummer Joe Bellomo and bass player Steve Dubois.
On Track 44’s debut CD Prove It, Pircio and Sevush tie their favorite elements together once again in the studio. The result: Fantastic blues, both the vintage elements and the modern edge. The Prove It CD has plenty of whiskey-soaked vocals, swirling organ chords, barrelhouse piano rolls, and Delta drenched guitar phrases.
Sure to be a hit on Boston area blues radio is “Hurry Up,” a hooky to the max song with a slight R&B feel in the groove. Around the danceable beat, Track 44 fill in the space with smoky barrelhouse piano chords and one really cool piercing guitar line. Backing vocalist Kristin Fonseca lends her rasp to the two-word chorus to great effect. Sevush, who looks less like a blues musician than a Boston University professor, actually gets funky here with some tasty clavinet chords.
The raspy vocals of guitarist Jimmy Pircio make opener “Can’t Take It Back” a real down and dirty Mississippi blues number, even though it, and every song on this CD, are wholly original. It’s a good thing keyboardist Dan Sevush can play piano and organ simultaneously. Sevush’ extra layers of authentic blues grit make this outing a true journey into a great American musical genre.
It is hard to overstate how blues drenched this CD truly is. Acoustic blues guitar and smoky electric guitar phrases are coupled throughout. The stitching of multiple guitars and multiple keyboards is seamless and the layering complex. Track 44 put to rest the notion that blues is a simplistic form of music. Some modern influences snake their way into Track 44’a sound here and there. This happens mostly in Pircio’s electrifying fretwork. He’s obviously listened to as many rock guitarists as blues musicians. Yet, the tone he creates and the feelings he invokes are gut-wrenching in the total blues kind of way.
Track 44 knows how to drench their songs in Delta and other vintage blues idioms. Title track “Prove It” rolls right in with more Sevush’s dollops of barrelhouse piano boogie, and Pircio comes in on a blistering guitar lead after beefing up the song with plenty of vintage acoustic blues. “Land On Me” gives us more of the acoustic blues guitar sound in a Resonator or dobra instrument and there are serious, thoughtful piano chords sprinkled about. Sevush lays out a lush background organ chord and the melodies combine with it to create an atmospheric blues song. Fiddle and easy going vocals give this all a pleasant mix of electric and acoustic instruments. This follows consistently through the CD that Pircio and Sevush vision of giving vintage blues idioms a solid bottom and a driving beat to keep it fresh and interesting.
Acoustic blues ditty “Ten Years Passed” utilizes nimble picking techniques to recreate the guitar sounds of yesteryear. Snappy piano notes give this tune a touch of class. Track 44 even get into some hard rocking blues on “Even Angels Get The Blues.” Edgy beats and driving guitar phrase winds its way all over the song. Although Pircio’s non-blues influences surface in his phrases, he still drenches his sound in the feel of the blues. Blurring the distinction between blues and classic rock turns the song into a barn-burning piece of work.
“What’s Up With That” has a winsome groove and hooky chorus that will likely grab the ears of blues radio programmers. Pircio burns on electric guitar while Sevush rocks out with some organ intensity, reaching into an FM classic rock feel. Track 44 close out with “Love Looks A Lot Like You,” a driving blues guitar song that shows more of Pircio’s over the top lead guitar work. Pircio can make his axe do whatever he wants it to. His guitar screams, cries, and even gurgles notes at his command. If that ain’t enough, he follows up with a bonus track of acoustic blues guitar right after.
Track 44 will hold their CD Release Party on December 22 at Johnny D’s in Somerville. Delta Generators will also hold their CD Release Party that night. Both bands play all original songs on their CDs.