Freedom and Whiskey's has a re-vamped line-up, featuring new band member and phenomenal guitar player, Chuck Mingis; new lead vocalist and smokin' harmonica player, Mark Hoekstra; as well as F&W's co-founders and original members, Mike Huettig and Bill Goins (drums and bass, respectively) the band's new album has a harder rockin', blues-y sound...but loyal fans needn't worry, the style is still 100% pure Freedom and Whiskey brand, kick ass Southern Rock.
Rock on, it's "Super Real"!
Review by: Alligator Jackson
FREEDOM AND WHISKEY “SUPER REAL”
From the opening moments of “Super Real”, it is evident that Freedom and Whiskey has come to rock. The title track features the whiskey soaked growl of new vocalist Mark Hoeskstra and the psychedelic guitar stylings of ex- Days of the New guitarist Chuck Mingis. This is serious business: but what fun it is! “Super Real” kicks in with a sense of urgency. A southern fried 70’s styled anthem, “Super Real” goes straight for the balls in the tradition of classics like “Mississippi Queen” and “Kick Out The Jams.”
They keep on ripping into “For No Good Reason.” Hoeskstra at times sounds a little like the great Danny Joe Brown on this track. Hoeskstra is a smoking’ harmonica player as well and he is on fire in “For No Good Reason”. The third cd from the Kentucky southern rockers features the traditional southern sound they forged on their first two offerings but the new cd also offers a trip back into the majestic blues-tinged seventies.
“Comin’ Down Heavy” is the next rocker on the album but also perfectly describes the changes Freedom and Whiskey has gone through. The harmonica is sharp again and the band warns “Better get ready/ change is comin’/ comin’ down heavy like a hurricane comin’ straight for you.”
“Whiskey State Of Mind” finds the band leaning more toward Allman Brothers styled blues southern rock and the song comes across as an instant southern classic. Definitely a must hear for blues rock fans as Hoeskstra’s vocals are dead on for this style.
Songs like “Running Blind” ,“Slow Suicide”, and “Too Far Gone” offer a slower bluesier side of traditional southern rock that was dominant in the first two Freedom and Whiskey cds. This style gives the cd more range and depth. “August” has shades of Procal Harem’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” melodically and is a powerful, emotional tune that mentions the tragedies we’ve endured as a nation such as 911 and Hurricane Katrina.
“Super Real” by Freedom and Whiskey is a classic southern rock release in this gator’s opinion. “Sellavision Blues” closes out the cd with Led Zep styled slow blues rocker. The band plays tribute to the influences of Led Zep, Cream, Allman Brothers, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even borrow a little from more modern blues rockers like Blues Traveler and Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies: but do not mistake this: They bring their own style and flavor into this cd. Freedom and Whiskey has always blended traditional influences with modern rock and originality and this cd uses that formula to near perfection. A stunning collection of southern fried blues rock!