Friday, May 20, 2011

MeanStreet Riders more than meets the ear

I'm beginning to think I live under a rock. I don't follow the news much...really just tired of the political BS. However, how did I not hear about the Mean Street Riders? I mean, look at their logo. It’s the epitome of kick butt. If you haven't heard of them or their music, maybe you've been living under a rock too.

In the logo alone, without listening to anything it has biker written all over it.

I received an e-mail from MeanStreet Mary about taking a listen and doing a review. I did a bit of research; however I did not want to be swayed. I asked a few people and no one had heard of them. Perfect, no outside influence!

Fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of it, once it arrived I was very excited. The first song titled "High on the Hog", was probably the best begin track on the entire album. It begins with a one of a kind guitar riff. I was pumped from the first few notes. Lyrics I relate to and seem to fit my life. "I don’t need no Cadillac to make me feel on top. I don’t need a diamond ring or expensive place to shop. Keep Life in a simple state with the rubber on the ground..." Suddenly the chorus line picks up and I'm energized and can't help but dance to it.

If you're a biker, chances are you've heard of the Dragon, Tail of the Dragon, Deal's Gap (among other names it has been given). I see a track titled "129". Without listening to this, the first thing I thought of when I saw the name was "Tail of the Dragon?" I couldn't be more correct. It has a sensational into that begins with a guitar made to sound like something familiar to us all. Bike rev and shifting gears. Funky, Funky, Funky... Bass guitar that has blues written all over it.

With each and every track, I became much more interested. I hear influences that are similar to the Eagles, ZZ Top, Jackson Browne, Zack Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Rodney Adkins, Allman Brothers Band, Skynard (yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd) and even a bit of Chris Isaak. Every song written with emotion. Been there, done that feel throughout. It’s incredible to be able to relive some of my rides and experiences thru words and music. It makes me want to jump up, dance and ride.

"Rollin' On" slows it down at a good time. It has an eerie intro, but this was important to set the stage. Life is not always peaches and cream and neither are our lives. It is darker than the tunes before. "...gonna ride like the wind and the pain." That def hits close to home. C'mon, we've all been there. Even if you aren't a biker.

Another amazing track is "I've had good ride". I want to stand up and go ride. I mean right now!! "It ain’t all about if ya get there fast, Sometimes just take it slow and make the moments last". This is similar to a saying I've heard and used many times's not the destination, but it's the journey that counts. Those are words I live by. 'Take it all in... again and again" epitome of what we (as bikers) are all about. It has a very unique sound that I can't help but play it over and over and over and over and...err you get the point.

I really can't say enough about "Where I was born". Just in case you forget (often most of us do or at least take for granted) that the United States (even with its flaws and our liberty and freedom being challenged more and more every single day) is the greatest country in the world.

The album has something for everyone of every walk of life. I hear so many instruments and sounds it’s a wonder how they can do it with so few in the band. Currently in rehearsal until late summer/fall and will likely tour. They have already been asked perform biker rallies in Florida, Massachusetts and Texas but this is only the beginning. The MeanStreet Riders, which live and breathe motorcycles, were formed in 2008. Their debut album, "High on the Hog" will be released about the 3rd week in July. You can listen to samples of a few songs on their website, along with plenty of other information. For social media nuts, they can also be found on Facebook & Twitter. Go check them out and judge for yourself, although I know you will love their music just as much as I do. Time to ride!

Shannon Wallace guitars/vocals
Dowlin Mayfield guitars/vocals
Greg Torres keyboards/vocals
Eric Lampley bass/vocals
Kevin LaCour drums/vocals
Fritz Froeschner guitar/vocals

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