Datura4 - Blessed Is the Boogie - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Datura4 - Blessed Is the Boogie

by Bill Golembeski Rating:10 Release Date:2019-04-05
Datura4 - Blessed Is the Boogie
Datura4 - Blessed Is the Boogie

Well, at least Datura4 didn’t rip off Greta Van Fleet. I hate it when bands do that sort of thing.

But this is wonderful full-bodied blues rock (slightly salted with psych), circa 1972. Trust me. There’s nothing wrong with that. And, for those of us who still love this sort of thing, think about three bands: Savoy Brown, (my beloved) Stray, and Wishbone Ash.

I know because I was there and couldn’t get enough of Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough.”

Apparently, the band is a composite of Australia’s rock ‘n’ roll who’s who. Singer Dom Mariani doubles on guitar; Greg Hitchcock also sings and plays guitar; Warren Hill hits the heavy-handed drums, while Stu Loasby anchors the load.

The first song, “Black Dog Keep Running,” may be an ode to Zep. It certainly has funky British blues stamped on its soul, and there’s a vague echo of “Custard Pie.” Oh, there’s a wonderous twin guitar attack and a wah-wah solo that (thank you very much!) cured my sinus congestion. This music jumps and pops with vinyl blues-rock grooves.

“Blessed Is the Boogie” is the Gospel according to Datura4. There was a time when boogie stormed the rock ‘n roll stage with the purity of, well, the boogie, a boogie that raised lighters and managed to warp the dancefloor. This song is a time machine trip back to those days.

And quite frankly, this music isn’t a far cry from the great British blues I loved from Savoy Brown when the band blared the blues-rock of their Street Corner Talking album. Wow, “Run with Lucy” certainly rocks with a Crossroads fever that ignites a fire in the synapses of the brain. And, for those who care, “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” pulses with the very same Paul Raymond Hammond organ of the Savoy Brown British blues sound.

It’s just an idea, but, perhaps, both bands are simply tapping into Carl Jung’s collective rock ‘n’ roll unconsciousness.

“Sounds of Gold” rocks. It rocks like the band Stray, who played progressive melodic blues rock that too few people came to love. But this equals the beauty of Stray’s Saturday Morning Pictures. As does the acoustic start of “Not for Me” that, with strummed guitar, sensitive organ, and lovely percussion, sings a beautiful slowly danced rock tune. Guitars float to the heavens. Truly, the melodic depth of this tune echoes the before-mentioned Stray, one of the all-time great (and sadly unknown) hard rock bands of the 70’s. I dearly love Stray. And “Cat on a Roof” equals their ability to stretch melody across heavy grooves that really flaunt the absolute wonder of 70’s rock. It erupts a bit, and then plays its solid rock soul that pumps air into of the vinyl vibrations. This is dramatic stuff, with wah-wah guitars and celestial organ to prove its point.

Lots of well-deserved superlatives.

And, by the way, this album has sublime dual (or possibly dueling) guitar conversations.

“Evil People” is funky, and it bumps the boogie into a raunchy irresistible rhythm.

Finally, “City of Lights” is a far cry from the albums original “Blessed Boogie” maxim. This echoes Wishbone Ash ’s rock ‘n’ roll magic which had that ultra-dramatic Andy Powell-Laurie Wisefield twin guitar touch, a touch that bends music into a shade of forever blue.

Yeah, this hard rock music won’t appeal to everyone. One time, I played Wishbone Ash’s Argus for a young teacher who was also obsessed with rock music. She could barely restrain her laughter at what she called, “boring 70’s guitar rock.” Of course, she was in love with Fran Healy and his band Travis. She also loved Radiohead. So, well, this is music of a time a place; but trust me, I was there, and it’s still a pretty great rock ‘n’ roll stage.

Quite frankly, I didn’t think anyone made music like this anymore. I mean, I bought countless records that rocked hard from bands like Hard Stuff, Back Street Crawler, (my equally beloved) Budgie, Foghat, Quatermass, Captain Beyond, or Australia’s own Buffalo, and, of course, the primary triad of Savoy Brown, Stray, and Wishbone Ash. Sure. Been there; done that. And by the way,  Datura4 isn't really ripping anyone off, because like Tony McPhee and his Groundhogs, they are a great rock band, and every great rock band must, from time to time, shake the hand of Mr. Hooker, Sir John. This band reignites the rock-blues vibe that summons long-haired rock-rolling Lazarus back from the grave to hold a lighter high in hand because, well, as the band sings so proudly, in a rock ‘n roll holy water bluesy born-again baptismal sense, indeed, Blessed Is the Boogie.

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