Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No More Tears

THE HERD OF MAINSTREET – “Hearts, Roads & Tears” CD ’09 (Private, US) – In a certain world, I could see where Raysrealm was in danger of becoming “Rayslocal” lately. Seems that all manner of local and private releases have been finding their way into these hands, some from my area (Baltimore), some from elsewhere. The only thing is, I wouldn’t consider that to be a danger. It’s more of a dream come true because nearly all of this stuff has been so damn good. Such is the case with this new CD from Baltimore’s own THE HERD OF MAINSTREET. So what’s the skinny with this 5-piece band? Well, a real nice combination of things, that’s what, honcho! They stir together a rich mixture of Americana, blues, country, rock and possibly touches of other things deep and soulful to produce a collection of 10 songs that will take the listener on a journey far outside the grip of the cold, grey city. This is the music of wind-swept country plains and stretches of open road disappearing into a distant vanishing point. Still, it’s far from feeling nor lacking in surprises. Check out the country-Stones-ish “Wild Horses” vibe of “Cadillac Roses,” the nearly Foghat-like guitar break in the Petty styled “Senorita” or the heartfelt ballad of “Hold On.” And let’s not forget “Rainin’ Down In Georgia,” with it’s Crazy Horse and E Street Band collision that sounds sweet as a hot rod at the drive in on Friday night. Through it all, Peter Wile’s (also guitar, harmonica) knowingly Southern drawl tells stories like a man who’s been there at the heart of every tale and the rest of the band (Gena Smith – guitar, slide, vocals, pedal steel; Corey Zook – guitar; Lance Smith – drums; Kevin Alban – bass) boils or smolders appropriately. In reading up on these cats on the ‘net, I believe this is their debut disc. If that’s the case, it’s one helluva start and I can’t wait to check ‘em out live. Go Into Exile On This Mainstreet Anytime

NOTE: For those in the Baltimore area, THE HERD OF MAINSTREET are playing The 8x10 Club on September 26, 2009.

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