Heath Green & The Makeshifters (Self Titled) on Alive Naturalsound Records
Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This is akin to the British blues and soul scene in the late 60s/early 70s. Names like Humble Pie, Joe Cocker, and Bad Company come to mind. This self titled release incorporates those bluesy rock bands and mixes in a little bit of a modern twist as well. This is not a throwback record. This is current right here, right now. Great heavy blues guitar riffs abound on this album and nowhere is that more evident than on Secret Sisters (Track 2). This smoker is a wonderful rocker that goes from 0 to 60 in about 2 seconds. This song will give even the most tricked out Corvette a run for it’s money.
The fact that Heath Green & The Makeshifters are on Alive Naturalsound Records is not a real shocker. These guys have a sound similar with some of their label mates such as Left Lane Cruiser, Buffalo Killers, and Mark Porkchop Holder. Alive Naturalsound seems to have the market cornered on this heavy blues/noisy sound. I am very glad there is a thriving market for this type of sonic infiltration because this is right in my wheelhouse.
Heath Green & The Makeshifters hail from Birmingham, Alabama. The band is fronted by Heath Green who along with fellow Alabamians, The Drive By Truckers, praise the work of Muscle Shoals musician, Eddie Hinton. Heath Green has carved out a reputation as one of the finest songwriters and performers around, combining music and storytelling.
If Joe Cocker is your thing, than you will love Ain’t It A Shame (Track 5). This song sounds like Heath Green channels the spirit and soul of Joe Cocker right through the vinyl and into my earholes. This song mixes the winning formula of soul, blues, and gospel to create nothing short of a masterpiece. If Joe were alive, it would not be a stretch to hear him singing this song.
If you like it heavy, and I know you do, Track 6 is for you. Living On The Good Side sounds like a science experiment that combines some Bad Company. Traffic, and Black Sabbath. The singing is definitely reminiscent of those Bad Company songs in the mid seventies. The playing combines that heavy blues guitar of Black Sabbath with the jazzy riffing of Traffic in Rock And Roll Stew.
This is one fine album and while it is not exactly country, it can certainly be considered roots music. The labeling is not nearly as important as the sound. And the sound is pure dynamite and belongs in every music collector’s library. Don’t be left out.