High Horse “Escape From The Glue Factory” CD Review By Gerald Ralston of Nightlife Magazine
First, let’s realize that this band kicks butt. High Horse was recently voted Best Niagara Falls Band in the 2012 Buffalo Night-Life Music & Club Awards (which by the way they also won in 2011). They are a diverse band with classic covers ranging from the Beatles, Steely Dan and the Allman Brothers to Motown, Jimi Hendrix, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and John Mayer, just to name a few. And all are performed with a heavy dose of improv and capable musicianship. Their fantastic live performances have won them a loyal fan base as well as awards, and now they welcome their debut release of originals entitled “Escape From The Glue Factory” to wrap your ears around.
“Escape From The Glue Factory” starts off with “The Rider”. It sets the pace of the album with powerful organ and strong vocals. You can almost see the horse galloping away from the glue factory. “Autumn Girl” follows, with a strong musical story. Could it be the name of the horse breaking away? As the fantastic keyboard/organ blends with vocals, it lets you become the one escaping, with piercing lead guitar. “Clarissa” – Love this song. There is a saying that any song that creatively uses a girl’s name will become a radio ready song. This is true with this song. “Clarissa” becomes a vision of beauty that everyone is searching for in their lives. Guitar carries the keyboard and vocals. When he finally succeeds in finding her, she’ll be gone. “Sweet Baby Jane” – Great harmony is blended in a name that is not really the real name, but is the name everyone knows her by. A mix of guitar and keys keeps the momentum of the song. “Remiss” – A pleasant song that is another mix showing the great production talents of producer David St. Onge.
Never a dull moment on the whole CD. “Gone” – This song has a very unique piano solo by Sturner in the mid area of the song. I liked the blending of the keys and guitar, plus the strong vocals from Pete Vogt. “Ballad of a Would Be Hero” – Repeated lyrics: “A would be hero is all I’ll ever be; Knight in shining armor, lost on stormy sea; washed upon the shoreline.” An enchanting sound of guitar takes you to the sea. It tells a story with spoken words bleeding in. “Stunner Rumbles” – Dan Sturner is the writer of this, featuring drums and keyboards, blending in lead guitar with synthesized sounds. Reminiscent of Santana’s earlier jazz days. The Hammond organ sound comes out at the end of the song. “Earthshine” is a project of all members, like a super jam of vocals and harmonized sounds. Earthshine tells a story of the future of the Earth. A mix of all members adding their blend to create a song that each get to put in its own ideas. Written by Vogt, DeRose, Porter, Sturner and Paul Yates. “The Emperor (Has No Clothes)” – A vaudeville beat of the 30’s. Old time honky tonkin’ piano. A fun song. High Horse is: Pete Vogt, vocals; Chuck DeRose, guitar; Dan Sturner, keyboards; Eli Porter, bass; Sandy Belsky, drums. Almost all the songs are written by Vogt and DeRose, produced by David St. Onge and High Horse at the Digital Barn in Ransomville, NY.