Here's the latest word on "Missin' You"!!!
Should the musicians who make up the Mark Sells Band - Mark Sells on guitar and lead vocals, Bill Leyva on bass and vocals and Andy Mendoza on drums - sound familiar to my regular readers then you've got one heck of a good memory. This talented trio were part of Brothers N' Blues when I reviewed an EP of theirs called "That's Alright", back in June of 2005.
Apparently, other than being seven years older, not much seems to have changed for this talented trio. "Missin' You" features the same gritty, scorching, hard rhythm driven blues with the same enlightening and inspirational lyrics that they impressed me with back then. I'm comfortable saying that these nine original songs are basically spiritual music on steroids.
Writing about a world class three piece band is not an easy task. Redundancy sometimes becomes commonplace. It's almost like being stuck between a "Rock N' Hard Place" which, of course, is this songs title. On it, Bill and Andy may very well be on top of their rhythm game. Need I say what Mark's doing? Read on........
Although masterful guitar work is a common denominator on all the tracks, this one features some of the raunchiest, scorching blues guitar licks. This is my kind of stuff. I've already replayed it more times than sentences I've written. Mark's use of gutsy and gritty vocals to describe his journey from going the wrong way to the right way down a "One Way Street" are as amazing as his guitar work. Great song!
Adversity doesn't bog down Mark because with the help of the Lord, he just keeps "Movin' On". Obviously the Lord's inspiration has been felt by the rest of the band as well, because the whole track is movin' on with the speed of a powerful locomotive.
"Mark's Groove" literally took me to the edge of my musical comfort zone. I had that feeling like you get when you're on a roller coaster and in spite of being scared to death you're equally wild with excitement. Phew! Get your pumps out because you air guitar players are gong to need lots of extra fuel playing along on this one. With Bill and Andy pounding out some vicious rhythm behind him Mark is totally in the hands of the guitar gods.
Unlike anything else on "Missin' You", "Bye-Bye" is a very mellow, quite relaxing instrumental. Any longer than it's three and a half minutes could very well have been trance inducing. Soft brush stokes and ever so faint bass notes accompany Mark seducing the strings of his guitar similar to the style of a harpist.
Other tracks on "Missin' You" include: The title track - "Missin' You", "So Cold", "Before I Met You" and "Trials And Troubles".
Before I close, I'd like to make one additional comment. I think, but I hope I'm wrong, that the use of words such inspirational and spiritual may have some readers thinking this is a CD full of hymns. To them let me say this - if this is the kind of songs I'd hear in church I'd start attending......and not just on Sundays. This is some of the rockinist, sockinist blues you'll ever hear.
(by Pete "Blewzzman" Lauro / Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com)