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The EvO:R CD Review Team
CD title - Rock & Soul
by Dane Drewis
Song from the CD
All songs are from the artist's CD Rock & Soul.
Friday Night /
Full of H /
Sweet Music /
Broken Strings /
Get Level /
The Lick /
Wild On /
Speed Bumps /
CD title - Rock & Soul
by Dane Drewis
as Reviewed by Charlie Harrelson
Rock and Soul is a CD from former "Cuesta Drive" guitarist Dane Drewis.
Combining pop, blues, soul and a lot of funk Dane's music is like trail mix to a hiker (plenty of flavors to get into).
His guitar work is reminiscent of Santana meets Stevie Ray Vaughan with a nice dose of Motown meets pop star for good measure.
In the Studio:
Born in to a long line of musicians that range from his grandfather, a classical composer in the 1930ís, to his accomplished violinist/pianist grandmother, music is in Daneís blood. Raised by his full-time musician parents, he grew up in an environment filled with the sounds of Motown, Jazz, R&B, and Classic Rock. Being part of a musicial family doesn't always make a great musician but it does encourage a person to
venture out and test the musicial waters.
One thing that separates the independent artist from the major label acts is the fact that the independent artist can release a CD with music that
is filled with multiple genres. The indie artist doesn't have to appeal to a radio nitch or a label that is afriad to step out and cross over a line in the musicial sand. This allows the indie artist the freedom to go in any direction he/she wishes. After all, it's their own skin in the game.
This freedom is refreshing but in the case of Dane Drewis it stretched him pretty thin.
The CD start off with this Funky California Pop feast 'Friday Night.' This song reaks with the ever popular boy band star gone solo feel.
I almost hit the eject button but choose to let the song play out and maybe something incredible would unfold. So much for intuition.
I have been saying this for years to indepenedent artists and I quess it needs to be said again. You should always lead with one of your best songs FIRST!!!!! For the most part, A&R reps, CD reviewers and other people listening to your CD for the first time have no idea who you are.
They may never know that the most amazing song even written is on track 11 when the first 2-3 tracks are fillers. Your CD may end up in the trash
or on a desk (like it did for me). I pulled this CD out of my player and placed it in the "to do" pile for 3 months because of song 1.
Fast forward three months and I skipped track one and moved ahead to 'together' a blues rocker with a Stevie Ray Vaughan feel.
Had this been song #1 this review would have been done in 2010, not April 2011. Now we're talking. Aside from the main guitar riff being a bit thin in the mix this song was just what the doctor ordered. Dane's voice is hard to compare to other popular artists. His voice is his alone. He can get funky, bluesy, soulful and even as before mentioned, Dane can sound like he came off the latest Boy Band hit single.
The CD progresses through one genre after another. From pop to blues to soulful rock to a Jimmie Buffett party complete with little umbrella's in the drinks. This musicial freedom is refreshing compared to major label acts of today as many of them hardly ever venture out beyond their suggested genre. For Dane, it's almost as if he tried to mix it up with as many styles as 13 tracks would allow. I had to wait till the 12th track to hear my favorite song, 'Tattoo' a real blues/rock screamer that had me thinking ZZ Top came bythe studio for this one. It really smoked!
Studio and performance credits fill up the inside liner notes so I won't go into that great a detail.
The CD was recorded at i-hook studios in Sacramento, CA. Produced by Dane Drewis and Victor Valena.
The CD was mastered by Eric Broyhill, at MonstaLab Audio in Sacramento, CA.
The CD was well recorded with all the instrumentation well positioned in the listeners sound stage.
Vocals are clear and not over compressed. Dane has a great voice and it wasn't lost in the studio.
This CD sounded great on a top end reference audio system and it held it's own down to a boom box.
My only complaint was the thin sound of the main riff on 'Together' and even that might be nit picking.
Although I applaude Dane for covering so much ground musically I think he spread himself a little thin.
Trying to be everything to everybody just leaves pieces of you all over the place. Had Dane been a little less diversified and concentrated more on his blues/rock side and less on pop music end he might have knocked it out of the park. He also could have opened the CD with a more desirable first song. I still don't understand why it was the first track?????
Charlie Harrelson- EVOR staff reviewer.
The CD gets 3 1/2 stars
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