Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This in an absolutely phenomenal album! I will scream that from the rooftop if I have to. What a refreshing mix of blues, soul, rock and roll, country, and punk. Emily is a star already as far as I am concerned. Her material is impeccable and she has a very versatile voice. As I stated, she can sing blues, soul, rock, country and punk. She is a rocker like Joan Jett and Lucinda Williams and has the talent and music to hold her own in those circles. This album should be a smash hit, but were are in the days after radio. If this were 1995, there is no question that this album would be at the top of the charts.
Emily Duff can be sweet and sensitive in her songs and she cal also unleash anger and attitude. She definitely has that Patti Smith style of New York swagger. It translates extremely well into music and Emily gets every drop of juice out of that swagger and ‘tude. This is experimental country and it kicks major ass. The musicians that play with Emily on this album are top notch. The chemistry is obvious and the sound is fantastic.
Scott Aldrich, who spent 15 years in the Americana band American Ambulance, played lead electric guitar on most every track on this album. The tracks where Scott is not playing lead [Hypmotizing Chickenz (Track 1) & Maybe In The Morning (Track 3)], David Michael Weiss does. And they both do an outstanding job! The guitar playing is spot on and perfect on every track. They pick when picking is necessary, they play slide when required, and neither one is afraid to use distortion or fuzz when the situation calls for it.
Picking out a few spotlight songs on Maybe In The Morning is not an easy feat. All of the songs are really, really good and I don’t want to leave any of them out. Sometimes, the call for restraint is warranted and this is one of those such times. Please be advised that the nine songs I do not highlight on Maybe In The Morning are still list worthy. I just have to cut if off somewhere, but it is not easy.
Listen to Mama (Track 8) is a swampy, bluesy, incredible piece of music. It has it all, great singing, smart lyrics, and incredible instrumentation. The drums, backing vocals, bass, and lead guitar all work together to seriously elevate this song to somewhere in the Thermosphere. That’s much higher than the Stratosphere. The slide guitar work in this song is quite good and the words are really meaningful:
June first no it couldn’t get worse
I come down with a cold in my chest
The doctor come round from Allentown
Told mama I had to rest
But the fields needed tending the fences mending
So I crawl out of bed and I get
Mama’s gonna have a fit when she sees me that’s it
I’d be better off dead.
You better listen to mama – mama knows best
You gotta do what you oughta – mama wrote the test
You better listen to mama – she loves you till the end
Go on that’s mama – you’ll never find a better friend.
These words with the beautiful, soulful background singers make this song shine. There is a fair amount of gospel flair in this number.
I got them 33 and a third Needledrop Blues (Track 11) is another stunner. This song fuses some good old time rock and roll with some country and some blues. This number espouses the power of rock and roll and the fact that artists don’t make music like they used to. I don’t really think that is totally true. It is just harder to find, which is why TwangriLa is here. We bring good music to the people.
There is a song on here that is pure soul and country goodness combined. Don’t (Track 5) sounds like something Lucinda Williams could cover and it would feel like one of Lucinda’s own songs. I think most readers know how I feel about Lu so to make that comparison is an immense compliment.
This album made picking out three songs a real challenge. All of the songs are on equal footing and are all great. This is a melting pot of vital and timely music. A true heavy hitter and should be bought and listened to by one and all.